Recently, researchers published a study analyzing the effects that tooth loss and periodontal disease have on cognitive decline. The outcome discovered a possible link that’s sure to give dentists and patients a cause for increased vigilance in dental health.
Researchers combed through dental records of male veterans who had enrolled in a VA dental study in the 60’s and 70’s, and compared them to cognitive tests the subjects underwent. These tests, one the Mini-Mental State Examination and the other a spatial copying test, were administered along with medical and dental exams every three years. The result? For each tooth lost per decade, the risk of deteriorating test results from the cognitive assessments increased 8 to 10 percent. People with all their natural teeth performed better on average than those with tooth loss, but those with more cavities usually tested poorly. (more…)