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Study Finds Link Between Tooth Loss and Cognitive Function

A recent study examined the association between tooth loss and lower cognitive function, and found that the risk for cognitive impairment and dementia increases with loss of teeth.


For this analysis, the researchers searched for eligible studies in the MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycoINFO, and Cochrane Library databases. They included 10 of the 1,251 identified potential articles in the systemic review and eight in the meta-analysis.


After examining the data in those studies, the researchers concluded that people with less than 20 teeth had a 20% higher risk of developing cognitive decline and dementia than people with 20 or more teeth.


The study was conducted by researchers from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, McGill University in Montreal, the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, the University of Montreal, and Queen’s University. It published in the April 2016 issue of JDR Clinical & Translational Research.


Previous studies have found that oral health plays an important role in a person’s overall health. The mouth contains a host of bacteria, and normally good oral health care is able to keep them under control. However, without proper oral care, these bacteria can reach high levels and eventually lead to oral infections. These infections may play in role in some diseases, including cardiovascular disease, endocarditis and diabetes.

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