How Does Dental Health Affect Brain Health?
Taking care of our teeth is essential to staying healthy. But what are the consequences if we don’t?
Unhealthy teeth turn yellow and become painful, which ultimately leads to more visits to the dentist, which many of us find so scary.
Most of us underestimate the importance of dental health.
Do you want to be happy and successful?
The appearance of our teeth is interconnected with our mood. Good teeth can have a huge impact on your mood because they inspire confidence and a willingness to smile more.
In addition to this, the latest studies reveal fascinating interconnections between our brain, memory and dental health.
Fewer Teeth = Poor Memory?
An interesting study was published in the European Journal of Oral Health. It revealed that losing teeth could actually worsen your memory.
It found a connection between the number of a person’s teeth and the person’s cognitive abilities.
So, it is possible that the lack of teeth among the elderly can be a cause of their poor memory…
Previous studies on the connection between teeth and cognitive function were carried out on animals. The results were shocking. The rats whose teeth were pulled out had more problems with memory formation and retention.
Scientists say that memories are formed by sensory impulses, which are produced by the movement of the jaw. People without natural teeth produce fewer signals that are sent to the hippocampus.
Of course, it is also possible that the poor diet that caused teeth loss can affect brain power.
Studies indicate that the lack of vitamins and antioxidants can also cause neurological problems. However, the possible link between mental and dental health is rather fascinating.
Strong teeth = Strong Mind
Based on many research studies conducted regarding dental health, we can conclude that both our mind’s and body’s states are closely connected to our dental hygiene.
For instance, a study from West Virginia University shows a link between tooth loss and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
Your dental hygiene can have a direct impact on your overall health.
Another study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that people with periodontal disease have a greater chance of getting cardiovascular disease.
Poor oral health can be an actual cause of dementia*, as well.
According to Reuters, researchers found that females who didn’t brush their teeth every day were 65% more likely to get dementia.
Men who didn’t brush their teeth every day had a 22% greater chance of developing dementia.
Dementia can be caused by a bacterium, Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is present in people with poor dental hygiene.
Infection in teeth can enter the bloodstream and cause brain-related problems.
The bacteria might get into the brain, causing inflammation and destruction of neurons, which can cause possible memory loss.
To avoid this, you should take care of your teeth and have regular dental checkups. Learn more about the gum disease infection connection here.
*brain disease that causes loss of cognitive ability that is bad enough to affect a person’s daily functioning.
Teeth and the Quality of Your Life
Our quality of life has an overlooked, but very tangible tie to the quality of our teeth.
The way we talk, our confidence and self-esteem can all be influenced heavily by healthy or unhealthy teeth.
Studies in the UK show that people consider tooth loss as a major life event!
If you are as concerned about your dental health as I am, here is a quick overview of the benefits of having great teeth:
• Good teeth can make your speech better
• Taking care of your dental health helps prevent cancer
• Healthy teeth decrease a chance for getting heart related diseases
• Reduces stress
• Improves your confidence
• Improves your mental health
• Leads to better mood, overall well-being, and lower symptoms of anxiety
If these facts are not enough to convince you to start taking care of your teeth, what else do you need?
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Dental Patient News and has been republished here with permission. It has since been updated for accuracy & comprehensiveness.