Having Diabetes and Toothlessness Together Worsen Cognitive Decline

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Having both diabetes and tooth loss contributes to the worsening of cognitive function and quicker cognitive decline in older adults, according to a new study published in a special issue of the Journal of Dental Research focused on aging and oral health.

“Our findings underscore the importance of dental care and diabetes management for older adults in reducing the devastating personal and societal costs of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias,” said Bei Wu, the vice dean for research at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and co-director of the NYU Aging Incubator, as well as the study’s lead author.

Diabetes is a known risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. Several of the hallmarks of diabetes—high blood sugar, insulin resistance, inflammation and related heart disease—are thought to contribute to changes in the brain.

But that’s not all. A growing body of research has revealed a similar connection among poor oral health, particularly gum disease and tooth loss, and cognitive impairment and dementia. Inflammation plays a key role in gum disease and may contribute to cognitive decline…

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Diabetes and Toothlessness Together Worsen Cognitive Decline