Brush Your Teeth to Have Better Memory

According to a new study, memory loss may be linked to dental health. Researchers who analyzed a group of 273 people over the age of 55 discovered that patients with more natural teeth remaining performed better on tests of memory. Even after accounting for age of participants, number of remaining teeth still correlated with memory function.

The researchers who recognized this connection do not yet understand how it works. Before starting this study, scientists had noted apparent connections between brain function and natural teeth. By identifying individuals with fewer teeth, researchers may be able to spot those at high risk of memory loss in later life.

Earlier animal studies found that when animals had teeth removed, they experienced reductions in their ability to learn and move. Researchers who looked at the brains of these animals found that they had lost neurons, with much of the damage centered in the brain's hippocampus. This area of the brain is most heavily involved in learning and memory.

According to scientists, a person's natural teeth sends signals to the brain through nerves involved in both facial sensations and motor abilities, such as chewing food. This has led researchers to believe that when these sensory signals are dulled by the absence of teeth, the brain loses its ability to form and maintain memories.

On average, participants in this study had 22 remaining natural teeth. Compared to a full set of teeth, this is lacking about one-third. According to our dentist in Torrance, this degree of loss is also enough to seriously impact the ability to chew food effectively for maximum absorption of nutrients that support brain health.

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