Tooth Loss may Lead Other Health Issues

When a person loses his or her teeth, it only gets worse from there.

A new study indicates that the memory and walking speed of adults without teeth decline at a higher rate when compared to those who still have their teeth.

The information appears in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and was conducted by University College London. There were 3,166 adults who took part in the study and their performance in memory and walking speed was tested. The results showed that people with none of their own teeth performed approximately 10 percent worse in those areas when compared to people with teeth.

The correlation between tooth loss and memory was rationalized after the results were adjusted for factors like sociodemographic characteristics, existing health problems, overall health, smoking, drinking, depression, and a few other factors. Even after all of the factors were taken into account, people without teeth still walked at a slower rate compared to people with teeth.

The drastic differences between the people with teeth and without were more profound in adults aged 60 to 74 than those aged 75 and older. The study also pinpointed wealth and education as two of the largest factors in prohibiting tooth loss.

The study concluded that recognizing excessive tooth loss provides the chance to pinpoint adults who are a higher risk for a rapid mental and physical decline later in life. This is especially vital when there are factors that could be altered to lower the chance of excessive tooth loss and health decline.