Healthy tips :Elderly people who lose their teeth may be at increased risk for dementia, researchers suggests,
The new study integrated more than 4,000 Japanese participants, 65 and older, who underwent a dental test and a psychiatric evaluation. Compared with participants who still had many of their natural teeth, those with fewer or no teeth were much more likely to have experienced some memory loss or have early stage Alzheimer's disease.
Participants with symptoms of memory loss tended to details that they had visited the dentist rarely, if at all. Dr. Nozomi Okamoto, the study's principal investigator, said that this may be one clarification for the study's findings but suggested that there may be other links between tooth loss and memory problems.
"Infections in the gums that can guide to tooth loss may release inflammatory substances, which in turn will develop the brain inflammation that cause neuronal death and hasten memory loss," she said, in a news release from the journal's publisher. "The loss of sensory receptors around the teeth is connected to some of the dying neurons."
This may guide to a vicious cycle, Okamoto explained. The loss of these brain connections can source more teeth to fall out, further contributing to cognitive decline.