Study: Tooth Loss Linked to Physical, Mental Decline


Adults that have lost all of their teeth are more likely to have memory loss and difficulty walking, according to a recent study. The research did not show that tooth loss causes decline in physical or mental health — only that there is a connection. Here, Dr. Kenneth Ingber, a dental implants provider in Washington, D.C., explains the study’s findings in more detail.

What the Study Found

A team of British researchers looked at more than 3,100 adults ages 60 and older. The adults that had no natural teeth left performed 10 percent worse when tested on their memory and walking speed than adults with some or all teeth. This was most evident in people between the ages of 60 and 74.

According to lead study author Georgios Tsakos, a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London, the study suggests that total tooth loss could be used as an early warning of increased risk of physical and mental decline in older adults.

Tsakos said that the common links between tooth loss and the decline of physical and mental health may be socioeconomic factors (e.g., income, education).

“Regardless of what is behind the link between tooth loss and decline in function, recognizing excessive tooth loss presents an opportunity for early identification of adults at higher risk of faster mental and physical decline in their life,” Tsakos said.

This study is relevant, as the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons says one in four adults loses all of their permanent teeth by their 74th birthday. Periodontal disease is the most common cause of adult tooth loss.

What to Do If You Have Tooth Loss

If you have lost one, two or all of your natural teeth, Dr. Ingber can help. He offers dental implants, which replace natural teeth that have fallen out or been extracted. An implant consists of a small post or screw that is placed into the jawbone to act as a tooth root, and a prosthetic tooth that is screwed onto the top of the post to provide normal tooth appearance and function.

Implants can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or all of the teeth on the upper or lower arch. In the case of total tooth loss, several implant posts can be placed to support a set of upper and/or lower dentures.

Contact Dr. Ingber

For more information about tooth loss and dental implants, please contact Dr. Ingber’s practice and schedule a consultation. Call 888-549-7682 or send us an email today to book your appointment.

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