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Dementia Potentially Caused by Chewing Ability


Retaining natural control over our various cognitive functions becomes increasingly difficult as we age and our health declines. Exhibiting signs of dementia including deteriorating memory, decision-making and problem solving abilities is considerably common among the elderly population. Current research suggests there’s a link between one’s chewing ability and overall cognitive performance.

Experts theorize the biological ability to chew increases blood flow to the brain, aiding neurological functions in the process. The theory goes on to observe that with the partial or total absence of teeth, a communal trait within older individuals, our ability to chew is significantly impaired. Continued research on this issue could very well produce a strong link between dementia and chewing ability.

Medical observers from multi-national institutions have begun compiling data in hopes of providing further insight. One study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS), funded by numerous grants, took a closer inspection on tooth loss utilizing a random same of nearly 600 people aged 77 and above. The findings seem to reinforce a possible link between dementia to chewing ability.

Those who struggled to bite into foods like apples displayed a substantially higher risk of developing dementia. The study found that controlling factors such as gender or education also had no visible bearing on the results produced. There has yet to be similar studies conducted on a national level in regards to the link to chewing ability and dementia.

The findings serve to strengthen the resolve for regular dental care. Many dentists agree taking steps to maintain oral hygiene early on can make a sizeable difference in the future, perhaps mitigating certain risk factors for onset dementia further down the road.

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Dr. Mark Gasbara
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    Mark J. Gasbara D.D.S.

    1215 Annapolis Road, Suite 208, Odenton, MD 21113
    Phone: (410) 551-4600
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