Losing Teeth Raises Older Adults’ Risks for Physical and Mental Disability
According to a study by the American Geriatrics Society and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, it is essential for older adults to receive adequate dental care, as well as the support they need to maintain good oral health self-care.
The study took data from the Japan Gerotological Evaluation Study (JAGES) Project and looked at more than 60,000 community-dwelling people aged 65 and older who did not meet the Japanese criteria for needing long-term care. The questionnaire the participants were given included questions about how many teeth they had, their medical and mental health history, how many falls they had over the last year, whether they smoked or drank alcohol, their body weight and how well they were able to perform common activities of daily life.
One of the results that came out of the study was that older adults who have significant tooth loss are less functional when compared with people who lose fewer teeth.
The research team suggested that it is essential that older adults receive the support they need to maintain good oral health self-care practices, and that they receive adequate dental care. So if someone you know is in this position, make sure in addition to other services they have adequate dental care so they can continue to live life vibrantly.
Razi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.