Connection Between Tooth Loss and Mental and Physical Decline

The results of an England-Based study suggest that loss of teeth may predict physical and cognitive decline later in life. The study was conducted by the University College London and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in January.

The study consisted of 3,200 adults over age 60. Those who had complete tooth loss experienced 10 percent more rapid memory loss and decline in walking speed than those who had retained at least a few teeth. The results were consistent after health and socioeconomic adjustments were made. The connection between tooth loss and decline was more obvious in those aged between 60 and 74 than those who were over age 75.

Dr. Georgios Tsakos, who is the leading author of the study, said recognition of this connection can aid doctors in identifying the older adults who may be at risk of a more rapid physical and mental deterioration.

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