Monday, July 25, 2011

Ensuring proper denture fit may reduce individuals' risk of developing dementia

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While maintaining an active social life and good nutrition has been associated with a lower risk of developing dementia in old age, other factors such as denture fit and ear health may also play a role in staving off cognitive impairment.

A recent study published in the journal Neurology found that 19 health factors that had not previously been associated with dementia may increase the risk of the condition when left unaddressed. The researchers said this finding may indicate that maintaining good overall health is essential to avoiding brain diseases like Alzheimer's.

The research involved more than 7,200 dementia-free adults who were questioned about the fit of their dentures, whether they had arthritis pain, had trouble seeing, and numerous other things.

The study's results showed that each health factor increased the participants' risk of developing dementia by 3.2 percent.

"Our study suggests that rather than just paying attention to already known risk factors for dementia, such as diabetes or heart disease, keeping up with your general health may help reduce the risk for dementia," said study author Kenneth Rockwood, M.D.

The American Dental Association states that poor-fitting dentures may lead to irritation or sores in the mouth.

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