You may have heard that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent dementia and cognitive decline. A new interesting study shows that flossing and brushing your teeth regularly can also help protect against cognitive impairment and maintain brain health.
This new study was conducted by researchers from NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. The findings of this study recently appeared in the journal JAMDA.
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Professor Bei Wu, the senior author of this study said that it is essential to understand the link between cognitive decline and poor oral hygiene. For this purpose, they analyzed 14 different studies conducted on cognitive decline and tooth loss. The findings of these studies appeared over an extensive period and involved 34,074 participants in total. Moreover, these studies included 4,689 participants who lived with declined cognitive function.
According to the results, the individuals who suffered from tooth loss faced a 1.48 greater risk of cognitive decline. Also, they had a 1.28 times greater risk of dementia. The findings also show that the risk of these conditions increased with more tooth loss in these adults.
The new study also highlighted that those who did not get any dentures after tooth loss had a high risk of cognitive impairment. Professor Wu also mentioned that we must raise awareness about oral health and other risks associated with it. Besides, people need to know about the benefits of getting dentures and other preventive measures for tooth loss.
Dr. James Wilson, the American Academy of Periodontology President said that dentures help people with tooth loss maintain a healthy diet. They can eat anything they want without hurting their teeth and flaunt a healthy smile. Hence, dentures not only help improve the lifestyle but also give confidence to anyone who suffers from tooth loss or decay.
The new study highlighted several aspects that link poor oral health to cognitive decline. If a person has missing teeth, he or she may face difficulty in chewing some solid foods. This can prevent the person from getting adequate nutrition that may impact their brain health. Therefore, good nutrition may help prevent dementia and maintain the overall health of the person.
According to this study, inflammation in the mouth also links to cognitive decline and brain inflammation. Dr. Wilson mentioned that tooth loss and other gum diseases can increase the risk of several health conditions. He mentioned that the inflammation of the gums may lead to some chronic health conditions such as heart disease. Also, it may lead to diabetes, arthritis, pancreatic cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
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The researchers suggest that regular visits to the dentist can play a key role to prevent dementia. Frequent dental checkups can identify cavities in the early stages and prevent tooth loss in the future. Also, it can help address gum disease before it causes inflammation in the mouth.
Even though dental checkups are important, some people do not have access to them because of the poor healthcare system or financial situation. In this case, good oral hygiene can help keep these problems at bay. In conclusion, brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can help prevent dementia later in life.