Previous research has associated tooth loss with depression, but have you ever wondered what else changes when you lose all your teeth?
A study involving 3,166 English adults aged 60 or over compared their performance in tests of memory and walking speed. The results published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society revealed that those with none of their own teeth performed approximately 10% worse in both memory and walking speed tests than the people with teeth.
The results were more evident in adults aged 60 to 74 years than in those aged 75 and older.
Lead author Dr Georgios Tsakos from UCL Epidemiology & Public Health says, "We find that common causes of tooth loss and mental and physical decline are often linked to socioeconomic status, highlighting the importance of broader social determinants such as education and wealth to improve the oral and general health of the poorest members of society.
"Regardless of what is behind the link between tooth loss and decline in function, recognising excessive tooth loss presents an opportunity for early identification of adults at higher risk of faster mental and physical decline later in their life. There are many factors likely to influence this decline, such as lifestyle and psychosocial factors, which are amenable to change."
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