Maintaining good oral health could help keep thinking skills intact in the ageing population, according to an American study.
Researchers from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York claim that gum disease can influence the functioning of the brain through causing inflammation in the body, which they claim can be a risk factor in the loss of good mental functioning.
The study which was based on adults aged 60 and above found that those with serious gum disease were three times more like to have trouble recalling a three word sequence after a specified period of time.
The research project also found that adults with the highest levels of the pathogen which causes gum disease were two times more likely to fail three digit reverse subtraction tests. They were also nearly three times more likely to struggle with verbal memory tests and twice as likely to fail on verbal recall and subtraction tests.
The study which was reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, was based on more than 2,350 men and women who were tested for periodontitis and completed numerous thinking skills tests as part of a national survey.
Source: Dental Tribune Dec 2009
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