Edentulism: A Big Word For Complete Tooth Loss

toothlesspeepSome people expect to lose their teeth as they age because their grandparents and parents did. Your teeth are actually made to last a lifetime. With all the research, technology, and education, there are few reasons these days to become edentulous. The major reason for tooth loss is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is caused by poor oral hygiene. If you brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist twice a year then, barring any unforeseen circumstances, your teeth should last as long as you do. It is not always that cut and dry however. A British study found a link between edentulism (complete tooth loss), memory and walking speeds.

 

Memory, Walking Speed, and Tooth Loss

According to a study performed in England, edentulism may signify more than poor oral hygiene. The study compared walking speed and memory recall in 3,166 adults aged 60 and older, half of which were edentulous and half of which still had teeth. The researchers found that almost 10 percent of the group suffering from tooth loss walked slower and performed worse on memory tests compared with their peers who retained their dentition.

The Results

To verify the results, researchers adjusted for factors such as smoking, drinking, health problems, and sociodemographic characteristics to find that the edentulous group still walked slower than their counterparts with teeth.

The results indicate that early edentulism in people between the ages of 60 and 74 may indicate more than poor oral health. It may be an indication of early mental and physical decline.  While it is understandable that the challenges of aging can contribute to tooth loss, this study indicates that tooth loss can be a sign of early aging.

About Your Reno Dentists

Dr. Brian Evans, Dr. William Wager, and our highly experienced team at Wager Evans Dental are devoted to our patients and their families, and dedicated to providing first-rate dental care in a comfortable, inviting environment. Located in Reno, we proudly welcome residents from Spanish Springs, Sparks, Incline Village, Dayton, Fernley, and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation or your next dental appointment, visit our office, or contact us today by calling (775) 800-4845.