Tooth Loss Linked to Increased Risk of Cognitive Decline and Dementia

In a new study, published in JAMDA: The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, researchers found a link between tooth loss and an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia.Tooth Loss Linked to Increased Risk of Cognitive Decline and Dementia

For the study, a team of scientists searched six databases for longitudinal studies and completed a meta-analysis that covered 34,074 participants, of whom 4,689 had some form of diminished cognitive functioning.

The analysis showed that tooth loss was associated with 1.48 times greater risk of cognitive decline and a 1.28 times risk of dementia. Moreover, for every tooth lost, a person had a 1.1% higher risk of developing dementia and a 1.4% higher risk of having a cognitive decline.

Prof. Bei Wu, dean’s professor in Global Health at New York University (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing, co-director of the NYU Aging Incubator, and the study’s senior author, says: “Given the staggering number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia each year and the opportunity to improve oral health across the lifespan, it’s important to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between poor oral health and cognitive decline.”

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