Science » Technologies and discoveries

The memory-teeth connection

Swedish scientists discovered a fascinating connection between one's memory and teeth.

As it turned out, people who for some reason lost several of their teeth appear to be less prone to recall their most recent activities. “According to the scientists, teeth are not meant for the sole purpose of grinding food. Apparently, teeth also help maintaining our brain functions,” reported one of the authors of the research, professor of the University of Umea, Dentist Ian Begdahl.

In case a tooth fell out by itself, for instance, as a result of an illness, that isn’t disastrous in any way. What really can traumatize one's memory is purposeful tooth extraction. If that is the case, this really starts to affect one's memory. Not so long ago, Japanese scientists established a direct correlation between one's memory capacity and the overall amount of teeth, while experimenting with chimps and rats.

“While carrying out their experiments on animals, our Japanese colleagues managed to prove that whenever a doctor extracts a tooth, he also pulls out the nerve that stretches to the brain,” explained Begdahl. The researchers themselves were stunned by the results. Who could have ever thought that each visit to a dentist can deprive a person of a tiny bit of memory!

Now Swedish scientists have conducted their experiment on people. 1 962 individuals between 35 and 90 participated in the study. It was determined that just like in the case with animals, human memory potential decreased with every molar that had been pulled out.

Dentists from the University of Umea now face another task of determining the affects of cavities and artificial teeth on human memory. In addition, they hope to find out what exact amount of extracted teeth affects one’s memory functions the most. Finally, it would be interesting to learn whether weak-mindedness associated with age has anything to do with teeth falling out. Perhaps, Swedish doctors will be able to provide their answers in foreseeable future.

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