Brain news: Tooth loss is a risk factor for cognitive impairment and dementia – with each lost tooth compounding that risk.
Around 5 million older adults in the US are suffering from dementia according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dementia is characterised by memory loss, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities that hamper activities of daily life.
Researchers from New York University aimed to identify any potential risk factors for dementia. The team investigated the relationship between tooth loss and dementia and cognitive decline.
They conducted meta-analyses using 14 longitudinal studies of tooth loss and cognitive impairment. The studies included 34,074 adults and 4,689 cases of people with diminished cognitive function.
The research team found that adults with more tooth loss had a 1.48 times higher risk of developing cognitive impairment and 1.28 times higher risk of being diagnosed with dementia, even after controlling for other factors. They found that the association between tooth loss and cognitive impairment was not significant when participants had dentures.
The findings confirmed that each additional missing tooth was associated with a 1.4 per cent increased risk of cognitive impairment and 1.1 per cent increased risk of being diagnosed with dementia. The new study was published in JAMDA: The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine
“Our findings underscore the importance of maintaining good oral health and its role in helping to preserve cognitive function,” said Bei Wu, the study’s senior author.
To Know More You May Refer To
Qi, X., Zhu, Z., Plassman, B. L., & Wu, B. (2021). Dose-response meta-analysis on tooth loss with the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamda.2021.05.009