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Natural Awakenings Washington DC Metro

Increased Risk of Slowing Mind and Body and Tooth-Loss Related

May 01, 2016 11:26AM
by Sammy Noumbissi, DDS
Scientific research has shown that a healthy and functional set of teeth and a beautiful smile are essential to a person’s emotional, psychological and physical well-being. Missing teeth can cause challenges in terms of nutrition, digestion and lead to greater systemic problems such as diabetes, jawbone loss and even loss of memory.

People who have lost multiple teeth and struggle chewing their food have significantly higher odds of cognitive impairment according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. In the study, they evaluated 3,166 adults aged 60 or over and compared their performance in tests of memory and walking speed. The results showed that the people with none of their own teeth performed approximately 10 percent worse in both memory and walking speed tests than the people with teeth. The study also found that even when other factors such as smoking, depression, genetics and even socio-economic status were taken into account, individuals who had a full set of teeth still had better memory and greater walking speed than those with missing teeth. Furthermore it was also determined that the link between losing multiple natural teeth and having poorer memory and worse physical function 10 years later after losing them were more evident in adults aged 60 to 74 years.

Multiple studies have also shown that young and elderly individuals who replace their natural teeth immediately or shortly after loss are able to maintain their jaw bone levels and improve their chewing ability. In a systematic review of studies a review published in the prestigious Journal of Dental Research on the connection between cognitive decline and tooth loss, it was demonstrated that individuals with less than 20 teeth were at a 20 percent higher risk for developing cognitive decline and dementia than those with greater than or equal to 20 teeth. These findings make it more imperative for young and elderly adults to replace their teeth gradually as they lose them or to replace the missing ones as soon as possible after they are removed.

Today, most dentists and patients prefer to replace missing natural teeth with non-removable teeth and/or bridges that are supported by implants. However replacing teeth with implants also presents challenges, the majority of implants used today are made of titanium and alloyed titanium and we now know that not all individuals are suitable to receive or willing to have metals implanted in their body.

Researchers have found that titanium implants can, over time, corrode in the body and release metal ions in the bone, the bloodstream and even possibly cross the blood-brain barrier. It is estimated that 15 percent of the population can be sensitive to metal-implant compounds. Choosing a safe and truly biocompatible material is very important in the process of restoring your dentition, your smile, your ability to chew and preserving jaw bone.

Bioceramics such as medical grade zirconia are now available for safe and natural teeth replacement. These implants are tooth-colored so they blend with the remaining teeth and will not cause dark gray lines that alter the color of your gums since they are inert and are not vulnerable to corrosion.

Dental implants are the best form and option of teeth replacement and dental implantology is no longer the only area in dentistry were there was no metal-free option. People who want to maintain a full set of functional teeth thereby potentially reducing their risk of cognitive and physical decline now have a natural and entirely metal free option of tooth replacement.

Dr. Sammy Noumbissi, DDS, MS holds a certificate and a master’s degree in implant dentistry and practices in Silver Spring. He is an author, educator and world-renowned speaker in the field of metal free implant dentistry. For more information, call 301-588-0768 or visit


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