The Double Whammy of Diabetes and Tooth Loss: How it Contributes to Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

Study: Dental decay and diabetes together can worsen cognitive decline

According to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research’s special issue on oral health and aging, having both diabetes and tooth decay contributes to slower cognitive decline and worse cognitive function in older adults.

Our findings highlight the importance of dental and diabetes management in older adults to reduce the devastating personal and social costs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, said Bei Wu. She is vice dean of research at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, co-director of NYU Aging Incubator and the lead author of the study.

Diabetes is known to be a risk factor for dementia and cognitive decline. Diabetes is associated with high blood sugar levels, insulin resistance and inflammation.


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