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Tooth Loss Correlated with Memory and Cognitive Impairment

Tooth Loss Correlated with Memory and Cognitive Impairment

Oral health has long been associated with systemic health issues like heart disease. However, emerging research has also shed light on a potential correlation between tooth loss and cognitive impairment. Clinical studies have revealed compelling evidence that loss of occlusal support, the contact between upper and lower teeth during biting and chewing, may contribute to memory impairment and cognitive decline, and even be correlated with neurodegenerative diseases.

Several clinical studies have examined the link between tooth loss and cognitive impairment. Explore the papers below to learn more.

Tooth Loss Associated with Increased Cognitive Impairment, Dementia

Source: NYU Health

“Tooth loss is a risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia—and with each tooth lost, the risk of cognitive decline grows.”

The Effects of Tooth Loss on the Brain

Source: Michigan State University

“Tooth loss and incidence of periodontal disease is highly correlated to patients with Parkinson’s disease.”

The effect of missing teeth on dementia in older people: a nationwide population-based cohort study in South Korea

Source: Published in BMC Oral Health

“Individuals with tooth loss had a higher risk for dementia than those without tooth loss.”

Tooth Loss-Associated Mechanisms That Negatively Affect Cognitive Function: A Systematic Review of Animal Experiments Based on Occlusal Support Loss and Cognitive Impairment

Source: Front Neurosci. 2022 Feb 10

“The loss of occlusal support may lead to cognitive dysfunction through the reduction of chewing-related stimuli, aggravation of nerve damage, and long-term inflammatory stress.”

Relationship of tooth loss to mild memory impairment and cognitive impairment: findings from the fujiwara-kyo study

Source: Behav Brain Funct. 2010 Dec 31

“Significant relationships were found between the number of remaining teeth, the length of the edentulous period, and cognitive function. Within the limitation of no APOE genotyping data, this cross-sectional study suggests a significant relationship of tooth loss to MMI and cognitive impairment.”

While the exact mechanisms underlying the correlation between tooth loss and cognitive impairment are not yet fully understood, these findings highlight the importance of maintaining good oral health, addressing tooth loss promptly, and preserving the teeth.

Regular dental care, including preventive measures and timely restorative treatments, may help preserve occlusal support and potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline.