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Losing teeth raises older adults' risks for physical and mental disability

Losing teeth raises older adults' risks for physical and mental disabilityIn a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, researchers explored this connection. To do so, they examined information from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) project.

In their study, the research team examined information from more than 60,000 community-dwelling people aged 65 and older who did not meet the Japanese criteria for needing long-term care.

The participants were given questionnaires to complete. They answered a number of questions, including providing information about:

How many teeth they had
Their medical and mental health history
How many falls they had over the last year
Whether they smoked or drank alcohol
Their body weight
How well they were able to perform common activities of daily life
The researchers learned older adults who have significant tooth loss are less functional when compared with people who lose fewer teeth.

The research team suggested that it is essential that older adults receive the support they need to maintain good oral health self-care practices, and that they receive adequate dental care.
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