Study Links Tooth Loss To Age-Related Blindness

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A study published in the Journal of Periodontology has linked tooth loss to age-related blindness.

It was found that men who lost teeth were up to four times more likely to experience age-related blindness. Age-related macular degeneration occurs when the macula starts to deteriorate, which makes vision less clear.

Previous studies have linked poor oral health to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes and strokes. This latest study further reinforces the importance of taking care of teeth and gums.

Researchers noted that some of the risk factors associated with tooth loss and age-related blindness are similar, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. The research team took these factors into consideration and still found that men who lost their teeth were more likely to experience age-related blindness.

The study did not show the same results for women, but Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said oral health is essential for good general health and that there is growing evidence to support a relationship between the mouth and the rest of the body. It is therefore important that people realise the importance of caring for their teeth and gums.

Dr Carter added that the most common cause of adult tooth loss is gum disease but largely preventable. He urged people to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss and see their dentist on a regular basis.

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