Dental Health and Your BrainA recent study involving senior citizens has found that the ability to chew may be correlated to your risk of developing dementia. Previous studies had been done on the link between not having teeth and the risk for dementia, but this study focused solely on the act of chewing.
When we chew, it actually causes more blood to flow to the brain. The idea behind the study was that the less somebody was able to chew, the less blood that would be flowing to their brain. This decrease in blood supply to the brain would explain the higher risk of dementia. The study concluded that people who have a problem chewing a hard food such as an apple, had a substantially higher risk factor for developing dementia. The study went on to find evidence that whether the senior citizen was chewing with their own natural teeth or prosthetic teeth did not have a statistically relevant effect on cognitive impairment. Much more important, it was found, was whether a person had difficulty chewing or not.
It is important to note that getting older is not necessarily a guarantee that you will lose your teeth or your ability to chew. A person who has practiced good oral health for their entire life may not lose any teeth at all. That is why it is important to make sure that you brush and floss your teeth at least two times a day. It is equally important that you visit a dentist twice a year for a professional dental exam and cleaning.
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