This year, a study claimed to find a connection between the number of teeth people have and their ability to perform well on memory-based tests. This study represents the latest clash between two opposing schools of thought: those that think chewing helps your memory and those that believe it does not.
More Teeth and a Better Memory to Boot
The most recent study, published in May, tested nearly 300 adults aged 55-80, split evenly between men and women. The participants had their health checked, then underwent a battery of tests, including memory, spatial ability, and processing speed. According to the researchers, after correcting for age, education, gender, occupation, living conditions, and medical history (that’s a lot of corrections!), only the number of teeth explained small but significant differences in participants’ performance when it came to episodic and semantic memory.
Maybe Not as Crazy as It Seems
At first blush, a possible connection between chewing and memory seems pretty silly. I mean, what’s the sense in that?
When you look at most of the science, it seems like a 50-50 shot whether a researcher will find that it makes a difference or it doesn’t, perhaps related to them seeing what they want to see. In the current study, I could easily believe that the various corrections used could have thrown off the statistics just enough to artificially create the effect.
However, there is one study that looked at the structure of the hippocampus, a brain structure known to be linked to memory, in mice that were fed a hard diet and those that were fed a soft diet. They found not only that the mice who had been fed a soft diet experienced premature cognitive decline, they had different structures in their hippocampuses. It’s hard to know whether there really is a connection here, but this study at least makes it seem feasible.
Restore Chewing to Protect Your Memory
The important link between teeth and memory seems to be chewing. Whether you have lost teeth or not, the key seems to be keeping your ability to chew. That’s why it’s important to get dentures that allow you to chew effectively, like cosmetic, neuromuscular dentures.
To learn more about the functional benefits of Strickland Facelift Dentures, please contact Beyond Exceptional Dentistry in Hilton Head, South Carolina today.