dementia and tooth lossIn a recent report relayed by the National Institute On Aging, adults who are missing teeth have a higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. Moreover, this risk increases with each missing tooth. Although the reason behind this connection is not fully understood, the results are clear and show that not only is it crucial to take care of your teeth, but it is also important to replace any missing ones with prosthetics or dental implants. In today’s blog, your Newport Beach, CA, dentist discusses this study and describes how he can help.

Oral Health And Cognittive Delcine

Researchers looked at 14 studies that included over 30,000 adults and learned that those with missing teeth have a 48% higher risk of cognitive impairment and a 28% higher risk of dementia. Interestingly, the more teeth one loses, the chance of mental decline rises. Each lost tooth saw a 1.4% increase in the chance of cognitive impairment and a 1.1% increase in the chance of dementia. 

Researchers also found that those who have dentures, bridges, or dental implants have a lower chance of suffering from cognitive decline. There isn’t a direct cause-and-effect relationship between tooth loss and dementia, but there are a lot of factors that are likely in play. Those who cannot chew properly are probably not getting enough nutrients to keep their brains healthy. What’s more, is gum disease — a leading cause of tooth loss — is known to affect one’s ability to think. Finally, those who lose teeth but cannot afford replacements might be in a lower socio-economic group, and these individuals often do not get sufficient nutrients in their diets, leading to cognitive impairment. If you do happen to be missing teeth, do not worry, because we can help you get your full smile back. 

Dental Implants Can Help

Dental implants are metal posts that are surgically placed beneath your gum line. They fully attach to your jawbone between four to six weeks after the procedure via osseointegration, which is when your bone fuses to the metal. Once they are secure, your dentist or dentist can affix the dental implant with a prosthetic tooth or they can be used to support other oral prosthetics like a bridge or implant-retained dentures. 

Implants can help stimulate your jawbone, which helps ensure it stays healthy and maintains a sufficient density. When you chew and speak, your natural teeth — that have roots deep in your gums — help stimulate your jaw, which also releases important nutrients into your blood. Implants provide similar stimulation. Dental bridges and dentures can also help ensure that you are chewing properly and receiving sufficient nutrition. 

Contact Us To See How We Can Replace Missing Teeth

If you are missing teeth, you want to act quickly to minimize the chance of cognitive decline occurring. To ask questions or to schedule an appointment, please call Balboa Dental Surgery in Newport Beach, CA, today at 949-630-0143. We look forward to hearing from you.