Dental Health and Dementia Link Found

We’re now just starting to understand how important dental health is to overall health. Researchers have found a connection between dental health and cognitive decline. New research shows that people with poor oral health and who are missing teeth were 21% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life.

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland carried out the study by examining 47 long-term studies that followed participants dental and cognitive health over periods of time, noting carefully those that were dementia-free at the beginning of the study.

In conclusion, scientists found that those with poor dental health were 23% more likely to experience cognitive decline and 21% more likely to develop dementia. In particular, they found that tooth loss was an independent risk factor for dementia and cognitive impairment among other oral health indicators examined.

“Poor periodontal health and tooth loss appear to increase the risk of both cognitive decline and dementia,” the authors wrote in the study.

As we age, we need to make sure we get regular cleanings from the dentist.  Even if you don’t have insurance, you can often find teeth cleaning specials online (Google specials in your town or area) sometimes with an x-ray and exam included for under $100. Do this at least once a year.  And by going in to see the dentist at least once a year, they can catch problems before they become more expensive to fix.  But always get a second opinion. One dentist may see a cavity or feel a need to do a major procedure like a root canal, but another dentist might not. It happens a lot so get a second opinion before doing work on your teeth.

The best way to maintain good oral health is by creating good daily habits. Dentists recommend using an electric toothbrush. And flossing every day. Good oral health is easy to maintain as long as you stay on top of it and do it every morning and night.

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Danny Kwon JD

Danny is the executive director of Life and Health and identifies with the struggle most people have to eat and live healthy, going back to his days eating fast food and working long hours as an attorney all the way to his present trying to find ways to get his kids to eat their veggies. Those challenges inspire him to produce evidence-based media designed to help people live healthier, happier lives. Danny is also the CEO of Carbon Biotech, the makers of Black Ice charcoal patch and is an attorney licensed in California and Canada.

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