Food for thought

People who maintain their chewing ability are probably less likely to develop dementia, compared to those who cannot chew well any more, researchers from the Department of Odontology and the Aging Research Center at the Karolinska Institute.

According to previous studies, several factors can contribute to our risk of dementia. Some studies have pointed to a link between having no teeth and losing mental function more rapidly and being more likely to develop dementia.

The action of chewing makes more blood flow to the brain. People with few or no teeth will chew less resulting is less blood flow to the brain. The hypothesis is that if there is less blood flow to the brain, the risk of eventually having dementia rises.

A team of Swedish researchers set out to determine whether tooth loss and chewing ability might impact on cognitive function. They gathered and examined data on a nationally representative sample of 557 elderly people (aged 77 years or more).

They discovered that people who had a problem with chewing hard food, such as apples, had a considerably higher risk of developing dementia.

‘Whether elderly persons chew with natural teeth or prostheses may not contribute significantly to cognitive impairment as long as they have no chewing difficulty. The results add to the evidence of the association between chewing ability and cognitive impairment in elderly persons.’

With this in mind it must be the duty of dental surgeons to maintain teeth where ever possible. At the Mayhill Dental and Specialist Centre we have the skills to save teeth that other dentists might condemn.

We also have over 20 years experience in placing dental implants to replace teeth that have been extracted. We can restore function which might be even more important than previously thought!

For further information please call David Guppy on 01600 712020 or email us at

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