Oral Health Risk Factor for Dementia

Discovering the risk factors for dementia and attempting to avoid this devastating diagnosis are important. A study discovered that poor oral health has been linked to a higher risk for dementia. Yet another good reason to keep your smile as healthy as possible!Poor oral health habits are linked to an increased risk of dementia but Rothfus Family Dental can help you keep your smile healthy.

A University of California study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society looked at residents of Leisure World, a retirement community in California. This long term study looked at oral health habits and dental visits, tooth loss and number of natural teeth remaining. The 5,468 adults, who had no prior diagnosis of dementia, were followed from 1992 to 2010. The researchers discovered that those people who reported brushing their teeth less than once per day had up to a 65% greater risk of developing dementia that those who brushed 3 times per day.

The researchers also discovered that dentures made a difference for those who had lost teeth. Men who did not wear dentures and therefore had an impaired ability to chew their food had a 91% greater risk of dementia! Women had also had an increased risk but at a lower rate.

The goal for all of us it to live a long, healthy life and good oral health is key to achieving this. The ability to chew food effectively is the first step in our digestive process, the process that gives our bodies the fuel they need to function. Remove this ability and the entire body suffers.

Tooth loss can be avoided through good oral care at home and regular dental visits. For those who experience tooth loss it is important to replace the missing teeth – they are not there just to make your smile more attractive. For one or two missing teeth a dental bridge can be used. Dental implants offer a more lifelike, permanent replacement option which most people find more comfortable and long lasting.

Patients who have lost all of their teeth have options too. Regular dentures are the choice for many patients but did you know that you can used dental implants to anchor a special type of denture so that slipping dentures will never happen to you. Dental implants offer the additional feature of helping to preserve the health of the jaw bone which normally shrinks when teeth are removed.

Contact Medford, OR preventative dentists Rothfus Family Dental at 541-858-7994 to schedule your next appointment. Working together, we can help you achieve and keep a healthy, beautiful smile for life!