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Americans who ignore their dental health and do not practice even the most basic dental care habits may be harming more than just their teeth. According to a recent study from researchers at the University of California, people who brush their teeth less than once a day are 65 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who brush daily.
Reuters reported on the study, which followed nearly 5,500 elderly individuals over an 18-year period. All participants were dementia-free at the start of the study, but people who reported that they did not brush their teeth at least once a day were more likely than the others to develop the brain condition by 2010.
"Of 78 women who said they brushed their teeth less than once a day in 1992, 21 had dementia by 2010, or about one case per 3.7 women. In comparison, among those who brushed at least once a day, closer to one in every 4.5 women developed dementia, which translates to a 65-percent greater chance of dementia among those who brushed less than daily," according to the news source.
Men who did not brush were 22 percent more likely to develop dementia than those who did so regularly.
The Mayo Clinic states that oral health is a window to a person's overall well being. Along with an increased risk of dementia, poor dental health has been associated with heart disease, premature birth and osteoporosis.
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