Having good oral health is important for several reasons, including protecting your cognitive health. New research published in JAMDA: The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine concluded that tooth loss is a contributing factor to cognitive decline and dementia.
However, those with dentures appear to be at a reduced risk. This research is promising because it helps us better understand how those with tooth loss and poor oral health can take preventive measures to reduce their risk for cognitive decline.
The Connection Between Oral & Cognitive Health
In the study published in JAMDA, researchers from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing conducted a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies focused on the link between tooth loss and cognitive decline. They found that participants with more tooth loss experienced a 1.48 times greater risk of cognitive decline and 1.28 times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia. Furthermore, it appears that those with greater tooth loss were at an even greater risk.
While these statistics seem grim, researchers also concluded that participants with dentures were able to successfully reduce the progression of cognitive decline related to their oral health.
Why is this? Some possible explanations include that having dentures allows individuals with tooth loss to adequately chew their food and receive the vital nutrients needed to promote good cognitive function.
Gum Disease & Tooth Loss
Gum disease was also identified as one of the main contributors to tooth loss, which is another important factor to consider in the role oral health plays in cognitive health. This suggests that even those with tooth loss can prevent cognitive decline by using dentures and properly caring for them by brushing them with a non-abrasive dental gel.
Social Determinants & Tooth Loss
Additionally, the social determinants of health cannot be overlooked when it comes to oral health. Those who have less access to comprehensive health care services are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to their overall health, oral hygiene, and having access to nutritious foods - all of which contributes to preserving cognitive health.
Aging & Tooth Loss
As more adults experience tooth loss as they age, it’s important to consider the role that oral health plays in preventing cognitive impairments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one-quarter of adults 65 and older have 8 or fewer teeth, and one in 6 adults 65 and older have lost all of their teeth. Given the number of people impacted by tooth loss, it is vital to focus on ways to mitigate the consequences of tooth loss to protect cognitive health in older adults.
How to Care for Your Teeth
Good oral health as you age is crucial. The simplest way to care for your oral health is by brushing regularly with high-quality toothpaste. LIVFRESH Dental Gel is a patented dental gel that will drastically improve your oral health, without any change in your brushing habits.
According to a double-blind study, LIVFRESH is 250% better at improving oral hygiene than a market leading toothpaste. Browse the entire LIVFRESH collection and find the right dental gel for your oral health needs.