Loosing Your Teeth Can Cause Memory Loss

August 7, 2012 Tooth Decay

how to prevent cavities

Are you serious? Can tooth loss really cause us to lose our memories? If a dentist yanks out one of my teeth, does it mean I’m going to lose some of the precious recollections stored in my brain? What if I lose all of my teeth? Does that mean I wouldn’t be able to recall my past? Not even my own name?

Maybe I was a wee bit exaggerating there. But really? Is there a connection between tooth loss and memory loss? Swedish and Norwegian studies seem to indicate so. These studies, as published by  the European Journal of Oral Sciences, revealed that the “number of natural teeth was positively associated with performance on episodic memory, recall as well as cognition” [1]. This means that the number of teeth we have can actually affect our ability to recall past events. This must be why I’ve been a complete nitwit ever since my dentist yanked my wisdom tooth out! *lol*

Can Tooth Loss Make Us Forget?

There are several reasons why tooth loss impairs our memories. Scientists theorize that decrease input from teeth to the brain is what causes the problem. This input has something to do with sensory impulses. You see, teeth performance such as jaw movement and chewing, send signals to specific areas in the brain where memories are stored and retrieved. This area is known as the Hypocampus. This implies that fewer teeth means less sensory signals or impulses sent to the brain, resulting to less brain activity in the Hypocampus region.

Chewing plays a great role in sending impulses to the brain. Chewing increases blood flow and circulation from the oral cavity to the brain, which stimulates brain activity. Remind me to buy lots and lots of chewing gum the next time I go to the store!

The more people get older, the more teeth they lose. As people get older, the harder they can recall memories. The connection of tooth loss and memory impairment is clearly obvious. The study, which was conducted on  1,962 participants aged 35 to 90 revealed that those people who had more teeth had better memory recall, than those with fewer teeth or those wearing dentures.

Researchers suggest that people who do not have a lot of teeth and those who wear dentures, tend to avoid certain types of foods. This could lead to poor nutrition which is associated to memory impairment as well.

how to cure cavitiesOral hygiene is also very significant when linking teeth loss and memory loss. A California study which was done on 5,500 elderly people over an 18-year-period, showed that those who had poor oral hygiene were 65% more likely to develop dementia than those who practice good oral hygiene.

Furthermore, people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease have been found to have more gum disease-related bacteria in their brains. This implies that people who have oral disease have more chance of developing Alzheimer’s (memory impairment). Researchers suggest that the bacteria find their way into the brain, causing brain inflammation and damage to our memory centers.

There is really only one conclusion I can draw from all these studies. And that is, teeth are very important. Whether or not teeth loss can make us forget, the real point here is to take better care of our teeth. Teeth has important functions in the human body. They aid in digestion by chewing and breaking food into smaller pieces. They keep us alive by keeping us from choking and dying on our food. Funny, but it’s true.

Teeth make us look good. But taking care of our teeth is not just because we want to dazzle people with our pretty smiles. Looking good is just part of it. Taking better care of our teeth helps in preventing cavities, tooth decay and oral diseases that can lead to more complex health problems. According to Science Daily , good oral care can reduce the risk of heart disease [2]. In addition, taking better care of our teeth saves us costly trips to the dentist.

So how do we care for our teeth? Good nutrition is our best defense against tooth decay. It is not brushing, flossing an regular dental check-up. Nutrition gives our teeth the vitamins and minerals they need to be strong and resistant to acids and bacteria that cause cavities.  This is the simple truth that a lot of people are not aware of. Instead of spending thousands of dollars of oral care products, dental fixtures and dental visits, why not spend money on good and healthy food instead? Not only will it benefit our oral health, it will benefit our overall health.

Learn more about nutrition and its great impact on oral health. Feel free to browse our site for more posts regarding nutrition and natural healing of our teeth.

*Contributed by: Michelle G. [link]

Sources:

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2344556/Losing-teeth-damage-memory-Those-fewer-gnashers-able-past-experiences.html

[2] http://voices.yahoo.com/6-reasons-why-taking-care-teeth-so-important-11825126.html

Funny Teeth Jokes

Johnny Carson once said, “Happiness is your dentist telling you it won’t hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill”. That really cracked me up.

Do you know that most toothaches start on a Friday night right before weekend starts? That’s because dental offices are close on weekends. Just some of life’s practical jokes on humankind.

What does the “Dentist of the Year” get during his recognition? …. A little “plaque” !!! Haha!

Do you know what’s the difference between a dentist and a New York Yankee fan? …. One yanks for the roots, and the other roots for the Yanks! :P

Sometimes I find dentists can be so annoying. You know why? We wait 4 to 8 weeks to get a dental appointment, and the first thing they say is, “I wish you’d come to me sooner.” :P

Hope you enjoy this post. Browse our website for more eye-opening posts on preventing cavities naturally.

 

 

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