Can Dentures Slow Cognitive Decline?
Adults who experience tooth loss are more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment and dementia, a new study has found.
According to researchers at New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing, the timely provision of dentures and good oral health can reduce the progression of cognitive decline.
What is Cognitive Decline?
Cognitive decline is the weakening of our mental abilities (cognition) and can involve difficulty remembering, thinking, concentrating, speaking and seeing.
Cognitive decline is often diagnosed as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which is a small but noticeable decline of memory or thinking skills that is greater than would be expecting from normal ageing.
MCI can develop into dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but can also be lived with and recovered from.
How can dentures help?
Of the 34,000 participants who took part in the study, it was found that those with more tooth loss had a 1.48 times higher risk of developing MCI and 1.28 times higher risk of being diagnosed with dementia.
The risk of cognitive decline was found to increase with each tooth lost. Researchers have offered a range of possible explanations for the link between tooth loss and cognitive decline. One of the possible reasons is that missing teeth can lead to difficulty chewing, which may contribute to nutritional deficiencies or promote changes in the brain
In contrast, the risk of cognitive decline was not significant among adults with dentures.
The study concluded that “timely prosthodontic treatment with dentures may reduce the progression of cognitive decline related to tooth loss”.
What are the other advantages of dentures?
There is no shortage of benefits to remind patients of in support of dentures. Here are just a few:
- Improved self-confidence and positive effect on mental health
- Low maintenance
- Preventative – fewer visits to the dentist over time
- Easier to chew food properly (improved diet)
- Aesthetic smile
- Easy to adjust
- Realistic replica of teeth
- Less expensive versus implants
How to find the right impression materials
To help you find the best impression materials and brands to use for denture provision, read our Guide to the Best Dental Impression Materials.
You’ll find all these materials and thousands of everyday dental essentials available on our website for free next working day delivery.