Does Loosing Teeth Put Older Adults at Risk for Physical and Mental Disabilitiy

 

Older adults should maintain good oral health in order to prevent many health problems and disabilities.  The effect of tooth loss is unknown as far as cognitive health and well-being in older adults. 

In a study that was published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, researchers explored the connection by examining information from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study project.

The research team examined information from over 60,000 community-dwelling elderly, 65 and older, who did not meet the Japanese criteria for needing long-term care.

The participants filled out questionnaires and were given a number of questions including:

·        How many teeth they had

·        Their mental and medical health history

·        Their weight

·        How able-bodied they were to perform activities in daily life

·        If they drank alcohol or smoked

·        How many falls they had experienced in the last year

The study revealed that older adults who have a significant amount of tooth loss are less functional compared to older people that loose less teeth.

The researchers suggested that it is pertinent that older adults are provided the support they need to maintain good oral hygiene skills and receive acceptable dental care.

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