Do you find that you are getting more forgetful? When was the last time you went to see a dentist? Researchers at West Virginia University in the USA are studying the connection between memory loss and poor oral health.
This study has major implications for an ageing population such as the USA (and also Singapore) as preventive measures can be taken to ensure that seniors keep their gums and teeth healthy to minimize the risk of dementia and other medical ailments.
According to the researchers, severe dementia has also been linked to patients with periodontal disease. While it may not be possible to conclusively say whether the gum disease was a causative effect on the dementia or whether the dementia resulted in the patient not taking proper care of their teeth, the link is well established.
One of the possible suggestions put forward was that in the future, dentists could start providing memory tests for older patients to determine whether deterioration in oral hygiene was due to memory loss rather than non compliance.