Dementia and Your Dental Health

Friday, April 27th, 2012, 12:00 pm

Could your dental health have anything to do with the chances that  you might develop dementia?

A  study from Japan completed recently suggests that there could be a connection. The study of more than 4000 elderly adults in Japan showed that those who didn’t visit the dentist regularly or had lost several teeth and did not use dentures had a  higher risk for dementia than those who had better dental health.

With an aging population like many countries, Japan is concerned about the increasing number of patients with dementia. Lead researcher Dr. Yukio Hirata said “The number of dementia patients is increasing, but there are no effective treatment and prevention methods. Therefore, finding risk factors contributes to solving the problem from the viewpoint of prevention.”

Dr. Hirata also reported that some earlier studies had also suggested that gum disease and its complications, including tooth loss,  might be a risk factor for dementia. Tooth loss has a serious effect on diet and nutrition as well as overall quality of life for the elderly.

You can avoid potential tooth loss by brushing and flossing every day and visiting your dentist every six months (or more often if you have gum disease or risk factors for gum disease).

Sometimes tooth loss may be unavoidable. It is very important to replace the tooth and options include dental bridges and dental implants. Dental bridges are a fine restoration but must be replaced over time. Dental implants are a wonderful choice for most people. They act like a natural tooth and, unlike dental bridges, do not require special care for cleaning and flossing. A restored dental implant will look and feel just like your own tooth.

To find out if a dental implant is right for you please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA at 706-886-9439 today.

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