Tooth Loss Linked To Memory Loss

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New research has suggested that tooth loss could be linked to memory problems.

Scientists believe that those who have fewer natural teeth remaining experience loss of memory because fewer signals are sent to the brain. These impulses are stimulated by the movement of the jaw and teeth, meaning when fewer teeth they are moving less frequently. Fewer signals are sent to the hippocampus region of the brain, which is responsible for memory.

According to researchers, the number of teeth is connected “uniquely and significantly” to the performance on memory tests, which involve recalling memories, specific information and facts.

The study found that people with most of their own teeth had a 4 per cent improved memory than those who had a large number of missing teeth. This figure was calculated after taking other factors into account.

The findings of the research were published online by the European Journal of Oral Sciences and the study was conducted by researchers in Norway and Sweden. The group involved 273 participants who were aged between 55 and 80 years old. The average number of teeth was 22, 10 short of the full set.

Study authors from Umea and Stockholm universities in Sweden and the Institute of Clinical Dentistry in Tromsx, Norway, stated that the number of natural teeth impacted upon the results of memory tests, with patients with all or most of their teeth in place performing better on episodic memory tests.

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