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<h1>Is there a connection between poor dental and mental health?</h1>

 

A new study contends that among middle people, tooth loss and bleeding gums could be a signal of declining mental cognition.

To explore a potential connection between oral health and mental health, the authors analyzed data gathered between 1996 and 1998 that included tests of memory and thinking skills, as well as tooth and gum examinations, conducted among nearly 6,000 men and women. All the participants were between the ages of 45 and 64.

Roughly 13 percent of the participants had no natural teeth, the researchers said. Among those with teeth, one-fifth had less than 20 remaining (a typical adult has 32, including wisdom teeth). More than 12 percent had serious bleeding issues and deep gum pockets.

The researchers found that scores on memory and thinking tests — including word recall, word fluency and skill with numbers — were lower by every measure among those with no teeth when compared to those who had teeth.

The connection’s crux might be found in the individual’s diets. The food rich in antioxidants and other essential enzymes and metabolites necessary for proper cognitive function might be avoided due to poor oral health and the individual thereby lacks “brain foods”.

The case could be vice-versa, however. It could be that those with cognitive problems just aren’t taking good care of their teeth.

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