Scientists found a link between tooth loss and activity in the elderly

2 weeks ago
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Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and Tokyo Medical and Dental University have found that older adults with natural teeth perform better at everyday tasks such as cooking, making phone calls or going shopping, Neurosciencenews writes.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, analyzed data from 5631 adults from English longitudinal (long-term – note “Lenta.ru”) study of aging between 50 and 70 years. Previous similar studies have shown a link between tooth loss and decreased functional ability, but did not establish a causal relationship. In the new study, researchers found the impact of tooth loss on a person’s ability to perform daily activities. After looking at factors such as participants’ socioeconomic status and general health, they found a link between tooth loss and the ability to perform daily tasks.

Scientists found a link between tooth loss and activity in the elderly

The study asked participants how many natural teeth they had, then, using data collected in 2014-2015, measured the impact of tooth loss on people’s ability to perform key activities of daily living. These activities included cooking hot meals, grocery shopping, making phone calls, taking medications, doing chores around the house or garden, and managing money.

Senior author Professor Georgios Tsakos (UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health) explained that the study is the first to provide evidence of the causal effects of tooth loss on functional performance among older adults in England. “For example, older adults with 10 natural teeth are 30 percent more likely to have difficulty with basic activities of daily living, such as grocery shopping or housework or gardening, compared with those with 20 natural teeth,” he noted.

Having natural teeth is directly linked to delaying the onset of old age and death. Tooth loss can interfere with social interaction, which is associated with poor quality of life, and provoke a nutrient-poor diet, which negatively affects the elderly body, bringing decrepitude and death closer.

Earlier, scientists from Israel and the U.S. found a new way to extend youthfulness using the SIRT6 protein. So far, the method has worked on mice and can increase the animals’ lifespan by 23 percent. If mice could be converted to human age, then human life could be prolonged by this method up to 120 years.