Oral health can have an impact on overall health, especially due to the possible spread of untreated infections. Studies have also shown a link between tooth loss and decreased cognitive function.
To find out more about this, a British team conducted a meta-analysis of 14 studies including more than 34,000 adults, of which more than 4,500 had impaired cognitive function.
Their finding is clear: people who lost at least one tooth, compared to those who had all of their teeth, were 1.48 times more likely to have a decrease in their cognitive function. And 1.28 times the risk of dementia.
Another result: the risk was “tooth-dependent”. Clearly, with each additional tooth lost, the risk increased by 1.4% for decreased cognitive function. In terms of dementia, the risk rose by 1.1%.
In question ? Researchers hypothesize that not having all of your teeth can make it difficult to chew and therefore lead to nutritional deficiencies. Which are associated with changes in the brain.
This is perhaps the reason why the finding of the study does not concern people equipped with dentures, even if they no longer had “any teeth of their own”. This is good news, confirming the interest in installing these medical devices when necessary.
“Our results underline the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene in particular in order to preserve cognitive function”, conclude the authors.