Could a Lack of Teeth Brushing Increase Your Chance of Dementia?

Brushing teeth together

While there are many debilitating diseases and conditions that can complicate an individual’s ability to lead a productive and positive life, dementia can be a particularly problematic condition. As many health experts know, dementia is a condition marked by the loss of cognitive ability in a person previously unimpaired by such complications. The cognitive loss resulting from dementia transcends that which one would expect as a result of natural ageing processes.


The word dementia itself is derived from Latin terms that mean “madness,” a fact which indicates how profoundly troublesome the condition can be. Despite the fact that dementia can have a negative impact on an individual’s cognitive processes, however, research scientists have identified several factors that can contribute to the onset of the condition. And, perhaps surprisingly, a lack of brushing one’s teeth is believed to precipitate it. By learning more about this issue, individuals seeking to preclude themselves from acquiring dementia can use preventative measures to curtail its emergence.

To understand the role that a lack of brushing can play in contributing to dementia, one should consider the fact that a plethora of research studies point towards a correlation between lack of teeth brushing and an increased risk of dementia. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, elderly women who didn’t brush their teeth were 65% more likely to develop dementia than those who brushed on a daily basis. The findings for men were less pronounced yet still significantly high. In short, men who brushed irregularly were 22% more likely than their brushing counterparts to develop dementia. It is important to note that researchers claim this statistic is small enough to be the product of chance. Despite this conclusion, however, the statistics for both men and women function as sufficient evidence that there is a correlation between brushing teeth and the prevention of dementia.

When one considers the research findings regarding the correlation between dementia and teeth brushing, one question tends to arise: How could the simple act of brushing one’s teeth contribute to the prevention of dementia? Although research scientists and experts in the field have not come up with a clear answer for this question, their speculations are worth considering. In discussing the matter, it has been stated that people who have attained quality dental care throughout their life may have also experienced better lifestyles and overall health than those who have not had access to good dental care.

Although the issue of dementia and teeth brushing may seem complex and even convoluted, carefully considering the study produced on the matter seems to indicate that taking great care of one’s teeth can play a role in the prevention of cognitive disorders. With this in mind, we should all remember to brush (and floss!) daily.

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