(303) 688-5705

Tooth Loss Linked to Dementia

Tooth Loss Linked to Dementia

For many patients, the need for a dentures Castle Rock dentist becomes a necessity as they grow older. Many patients commonly believe that tooth loss is just a natural part of the aging process similar to needing to wear glasses to read and learning to love Wheel of Fortune.

In reality, however, there’s nothing natural about tooth loss. When properly cared for with daily brushing and flossing and regular exams and checkups, you can enjoy healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime. Not only does protecting your oral health help to strengthen your teeth and gums, it also helps to protect your body from other chronic diseases. In fact, a recent study suggests that tooth loss for seniors actually increases their risk of dementia.

A study conducted in Japan has discovered that individuals who keep the majority of their teeth over the age of 60 are far less likely to develop dementia when compared to those suffering from tooth loss. Even more troubling, the risk of dementia actually seems to increase in direct correlation with the number of teeth lost after the age of 60, reports researchers.

Linking Dementia & Tooth Loss

Involved in the study were over 1,500 Japanese adults who exhibited no signs of dementia at the outset of the study. Researchers then tracked the study participants for roughly five years between 2007 and 2012.

At the beginning of the study, participants were placed into one of four categories, based on their number of remaining teeth. These groups ranged from participants who had no remaining teeth to 20 or more.

Over an average of a little more than 5 years, 11.5 percent of the study participants developed some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia – a condition that occurs when the brain receives too little oxidized blood, causing the brain’s nerve cells to deteriorate.

The researchers discovered that the risk of developing dementia increased by 62 percent for those with between 10 to 19 remaining teeth, compared to those who had 20 or more of their original 32 teeth remaining.

The risk of dementia increased to 81 percent for participants who had between one to nine teeth remaining.

While the data in the study was able to link tooth loss to Alzheimer’s disease, not enough data existed to make the same direct correlation to vascular dementia.

Poor Oral Habits or Inflammation

In an effort to determine the link between tooth loss and dementia, researchers offer one possible explanation that gum disease and tooth decay could trigger inflammation – a condition that other studies have previously linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Additionally, tooth loss might indicate a general lack of care and healthy habits throughout an individual’s life, say researchers.

Finally, researchers suggest that chewing may increase blood flow and increase blood oxygen levels, and those with fewer teeth may have trouble chewing enough to produce this effect. Individuals with few remaining permanent teeth may also have trouble chewing hard foods like fruits and vegetables, making them more likely to eat softer foods such as pastas and grains that are higher in sugar.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society where researchers concluded: “The findings emphasize the clinical importance of promoting and supporting opportunities for dental care and treatment, especially in terms of maintenance of teeth from an early age, for reducing the risk of dementia in later life.”

While the need for a dentures Castle Rock dentist may seem unavoidable to some, know that maintaining the number of permanent teeth during your senior years can have a far bigger effect on your health than you might think.

Oral Health Intervention Can Improve Senior Care

Oral Health Intervention Can Improve Senior Care

When it comes to senior dental care in Castle Rock, our team at Glow strives to provide our patients with the knowledge needed to enjoy healthy teeth well into their golden years. Unfortunately, many seniors mistakenly believe that reaching retirement means they no longer need to practice quality oral hygiene. Many people have grown up… Continue Reading

Rating the Best and Worst Foods for Your Oral Health

Rating the Best and Worst Foods for Your Oral Health

Every patient that looks for quality dental care in Castle Rock wants to have a bright and healthy looking smile. While brushing and flossing greatly impact our long-term oral health, the foods and beverages we consume also contribute to whether we enjoy healthy, white teeth or yellowish teeth impacted by tooth decay. To help educate… Continue Reading

Cruciferous Vegetable the Key to Better Health

Cruciferous Vegetable the Key to Better Health

For our team at Glow Comprehensive Dentistry, trying to name the healthiest vegetable is like trying to pick the best flavor of ice cream. They are all pretty fantastic. However, research has shown that cruciferous vegetables do provide some healthy compounds not commonly found in other types of produce. Cruciferous vegetables are from the family… Continue Reading

Lifting Weights Could Lower Risk of Diabetes in Women

Lifting Weights Could Lower Risk of Diabetes in Women

As the rates of people suffering from diabetes continue to rise in the U.S., millions of Americans find themselves in a daily battle trying to control their blood sugar levels. Your dentist in Castle Rock wants patients to know that poor oral health has been shown to increase your risk of diabetes. Approximately 26 million… Continue Reading

What a Dentist Can Do For You

What a Dentist Can Do For You

It can be easy to fall into a trap of thinking that because you’re currently enjoy good oral health you don’t need to visit a Castle Rock family dentistry. Unfortunately, the majority of serious oral health problems don’t manifest any symptoms early on. By the time you may experience the toothaches and problems eating typically associated… Continue Reading

Assessing Your Risk Of Gum Disease

Assessing Your Risk Of Gum Disease

At our Castle Rock family dentistry, we see a lot of patients who have questions about their risk of developing gum disease. Worrying about gum disease means understanding the potential long-term damage gingivitis and periodontal disease can do to not only your oral health but your overall health as well. Gum disease develops when the gum… Continue Reading

Call Now
Directions