Scientists have discovered that the better your oral health, the lower your risk of cognitive decline.
Tooth loss has been linked with an increased risk of cognitive decline, so keeping your teeth healthy can decrease that risk, as well as your risk of dementia. Poor oral health and tooth loss can make chewing difficult, causing deficiencies in nutrients crucial to brain health. As nutrition is a key tool in preventing cognitive decline, oral health is crucial to brain health.
It’s important to take care of your teeth, and dentures may be the path to protection against cognitive decline. Dentures resolve difficulty chewing and are associated with a lower risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in adults with tooth loss.
It is also important to prevent gum disease. Exposure to the bacteria that cause periodontal disease (gum disease that can cause tooth loss) promotes a neuroinflammatory response in the body which could lead to cognitive decline. Additionally, the body may produce beta-amyloid plaques, a telltale sign of Alzheimer’s, in response to the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.
Many people with dementia and cognitive impairment have trouble maintaining their oral health. So, while tooth loss can be anindicator of cognitive decline, it can also be aresult of cognitive decline. However, recent findings, such as the risks associated with periodontal disease, show that the association between oral health and cognitive health is strong.
Overall, it’s important to take care of your smile. Practicing good oral hygiene by drinking fluoridated water and brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste can help promote cognitive function. You should also see your dentist once a year, even if you have dentures.
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