Regular dental visits and better oral care may help slow down cognitive decline as people age, researchers say. A new report by Mayo Clinic seems to have found a link between poor oral care and age-related mental decline. However, the researchers emphasized that they are yet to establish a direct link between the two. The report, which was initiated by Dr. Bei Wu, of Duke University’s School of Nursing in Durham, NC, involved the analysis of studies published from 1993 to 2013.
“Clinical evidence suggests that the frequency of oral health problems increases significantly in cognitively impaired older people, particularly those with dementia,” Dr. Wu said. “In addition, many of the factors associated with poor oral health—such as poor nutrition and systemic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease—are also associated with poor cognitive function.”