Missing teeth could affect more than the appearance of your smile, according to a new study. A team of British researchers found a connection between tooth loss and physical and cognitive decline in older adults.
Dr. Georgios Tsakos and his colleagues at the University College London studied more than 3,100 adults ages 60 and older in England. The participants were tested on their memory and walking speeds.
Participants that had lost all of their natural teeth performed approximately 10 percent worse on both tests than people with remaining natural teeth, according to the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The link between tooth loss and diminished cognitive and physical function was stronger in adults ages 60 to 74 than in adults 75 and older.
The team clarified that their results did not show tooth loss causes physical or mental decline — only that there was a connection. Socioeconomic factors like education and income are likely the commonality between tooth loss and diminished physical and mental capacity, noted Dr. Tsakos.
“Regardless of what is behind the link between tooth loss and decline in function, recognizing excessive tooth loss presents an opportunity for early identification of adults at higher risk of faster mental and physical decline later in their life,” he said, and added that lifestyle and psychosocial factors can be changed.
What to Do If You’ve Lost a Tooth
If you have lost one or more teeth, Dr. Darian Hampton of the Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry has a solution. Dental implants, which resemble a small screw or post, are implanted into the jawbone and serve as a foundation for a dental crown, bridge or set of dentures. They are stable and secure, and restore the full function of a natural tooth. The dental restorations look remarkably lifelike and are custom crafted to blend in with the surrounding teeth.
In addition to their functional and cosmetic benefits, dental implants are also good for overall oral health. They prevent the existing teeth from shifting into the gap left by the missing tooth/teeth. They also prevent the deterioration of the jawbone and the collapse of the facial structures — both of which are a long-term concern when one or more teeth falls out.
For these reasons and more, dental implants are the smartest way to replace one or more missing teeth.
To learn more about dental implants or the other cosmetic and restorative dental solutions Dr. Hampton offers, please contact our practice today. Call (972) 395-9292 and speak to a friendly member of our team.