Brushing Your Teeth Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

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Keeping your
teeth clean could help your mind to stay sharp into old age, research

Those with
poor oral hygiene and swollen, bleeding gums are more likely to
suffer memory problems linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms
of dementia, a study found.

And the worse
the condition of their gums, the higher their risks of memory blanks.

The study adds
to a welter of evidence about the benefits of regular brushing,
flossing and visits to the dentist.

Previous research
has blamed the bugs behind gum disease for other ills including
heart disease, diabetes and low sperm counts.

Now, it appears
they may also stop us from thinking as clearly as we might.

The researchers,
from Columbia University in New York, tested more than 2,300 men
and women for bugs that cause periodontitis, in which gums are so
diseased that they recede and teeth become loose. The volunteers,
who were all aged 60 and over, were also put through a battery of
memory tests.

The tests posed
a problem for up to a fifth of those taking part, with those with
bad dental health faring the worst.

The men and
women with the highest levels of gum disease bugs were three times
as likely to have trouble recalling a three-word sequence as those
with the lowest amounts.

the rest of the article

16, 2009

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