Study: Gum disease can affect memory

November 12, 2009 2:03:51 PM PST
And if you are having trouble thinking, you might want to consider a trip to the dentist. New research finds that adults over the age of 60 who have gum disease are three times more likely to have trouble recalling simple word sequences.

Other studies have already established a strong association between poor oral health and heart disease, stroke, diabetes as well as Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers think gum disease could influence brain function through several mechanisms. For example, gum disease can cause inflammation throughout the body, which can be a risk factor for loss of mental function.

There's more on the study in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.