Not only do fewer teeth impact your ability to chew well and speak clearly, recent research has shown that a lack of teeth can also impact your memory. However, there are permanent solutions to replace your missing teeth, like zirconia dental implants and teeth in an hour.
The Messages Teeth Send to the Brain
People with fewer natural teeth – aged 55 and older – performed more poorly on memory tests, according to a study published in the European Journal of Oral Sciences. This finding is in line with previous human and animal studies that support the same claims. This would suggest that the presence of natural teeth impacts cognitive function and losing natural teeth reduces the sensory signals that teeth send to the brain – such as, “This milkshake is too cold!” or “This pizza is hot!” or “This steak is very chewy.” This lack of information could, in turn, affect the brain’s other functions, including memory.
Could Unhealthy Gums Affect Your Memory?
As a holistic dentistry practice, we believe it’s important to investigate what’s behind tooth loss rather than just fixing the problem. The cause of the loss could also be an indicator of what’s causing memory impairment, which might need to be treated individually separate from your dental care.
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Not to mention, research has also linked periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammation that accompanies gingivitis or periodontitis could cause the death of neurons and thus lead to memory loss.
Fewer Teeth Mean Fewer Choices
The participants in this recent memory study had an average of 22 natural teeth – which is about a third less than a complete set of human teeth. When a person does not have all of their teeth at their disposal, it can also lead them to make poor choices about the foods they eat – after all, it’s much simpler to rely on pastas and breads then to attempt to bite into a crunchy fruit or veggie or a chewy protein. This deficiency in nutrients could affect memory as well.
The bottom line is this: Whether there is a link between tooth loss and memory loss is, ultimately, irrelevant. What does matter is that you need as many teeth as possible to maintain a healthy smile, a good diet, and a normal appearance. Sometimes tooth loss happens with age, but it is treatable, and that’s the wonderful thing. Holistically minded cosmetic dentistry solutions can give you the smile you want and deserve. And look at it this way – should you have any embarrassing memory slips, you’ll be able to flash your beautiful smile to cover them up!