Moffitt Restorative Dentistry

Tooth Loss in an Aging Population Associated with Mental and Physical Decline

Dec 31 2014

According to the lead author of the University College London’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Dr. Tsakos, tooth loss in adults may be linked to physical and mental decline. Although other factors such as socioeconomic status and education can play a role, excessive tooth loss is a chance to spot people at higher risk of faster physical and mental decline. Tooth loss has decreased over the past 50 years, with those in higher socioeconomic statuses seeing the greatest decline. However, periodontal disease is still affecting half of the United States population, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Diligent home care and regular dental checkups are two great ways to protect you from gum disease, tooth loss, and the potential of linked mental and physical decline.
The Wall Street Journal (12/30, Chen, Subscription Publication) considers the frequency with which people should visit the dentist. Citing Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett, a professor of dentistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Journal reports that while a small number of people can get away with less than the recommended twice-per-year dental visits, others will in fact need to visit the dentist more than two times per year. Dr. Hewlett said that the recommendation was envisioned with an average person in mind, meaning middle-aged people who don’t smoke and who brush their teeth twice per day.
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