Tooth Loss Can Slow Your Mind and Body
Losing a tooth is not a great situation to find yourself in. Apart from the fact that you are likely to feel self-conscious or embarrassed about the gap in your smile, you are also likely to experience decreased oral function. A recent study has found there might be more reasons to worry about that lost tooth, however. The study, which was published in the “Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,” included nearly 3,200 people ages sixty and over, evaluated their walking speed and memory.
Researchers found that compared to those who had teeth, those who had lost all their teeth performed about ten percent worse in both memory tests and walking speed. This difference remained even after the results were adjusted for other factors, including socioeconomic status, pre-existing health problems, depression, and health habits, such as smoking or drinking. While researchers were unable to identify the exact link between tooth loss and decreased cognitive and physical function, they do believe that it might help identify those at risk of faster declines later in life and allow for earlier interventions.
Several things can lead to tooth loss, including poor dental hygiene, tobacco use, nutrition habits, and lower socioeconomic status. With dental health strongly correlated to faster physical and mental decline, good dental habits might just help you enjoy healthier aging. Brush and floss as recommended, and visit us twice a year or on your prescribed schedule. If you do lose a tooth, a dental implant may be a good way to replace it. The implant can stimulate bone just like the natural tooth would, and can help you continue eating a balanced diet well into your golden years. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our team.
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