The ability of a person to chew hard food could be an indication of his risk of developing dementia, finds a new research.
The older we become the more likely it is that we risk
deterioration of our cognitive functions, such as memory, decision-making and
Several studies have also demonstrated a link between not
having teeth and loss of cognitive function and a higher risk of dementia.
One reason for this could be that few or no teeth makes
chewing difficult, which leads to a reduction in the blood flow to the brain,
the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported.
However, to date there has been no direct investigation into
the significance of chewing ability in a national representative sample of
elderly people, according to a Karolinska Institutet.
Now a team comprising odontology researchers and the Ageing
Research Centre (ARC) at Karolinska Institutet and from Karlstad University
have looked at tooth loss, chewing ability and cognitive function in a random
nationwide sample of 557 people aged 77 or older.
They found that those who had difficulty chewing hard food
such as apples had a significantly higher risk of developing cognitive
impairments, independently of sex, age, education and mental health problems.
Whether chewing ability was sustained with natural teeth or
dentures also had no bearing on the effect.