Tooth loss could be linked to memory loss

January 4, 2011 2:10:37 PM PST
A report in behavioral and brain functions finds that elderly people who lose their teeth may be at increased risk for dementia.

The study that included more than 4,000 participants 65 and older found that those with fewer or no teeth were much more likely to have experienced some memory loss or have early stage Alzheimer's disease.

The theory is that scientists believe infections in the gums can lead to tooth loss and may release substances, which in turn could enhance brain inflammation. And that may result in causing neurons to die and speed up memory loss.