Fewer Teeth May Be Related to Lower Oral Perception and Cognitive Function


The decline of cognitive function is related to tactile and taste perceptions. That is the finding of a new study among nearly 1,000 80 year olds.

A recent study examined the association of cognitive function with oral tactile (sense of touch) and taste perceptions. Cognition is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

Researchers found that oral perception scores correlated with the number of teeth. Specifically, older adults with more teeth were better at identifying the shape of six different test objects.

The connection between cognition and taste perception was also evaluated for sweet, sour, salty and bitter samples. The results of that measure found that men significantly better than women in recognizing the tastes.  For men and women combined, there was a correlation between cognitive assessment and taste perception for the sour, salty and bitter samples.

The study was presented at the Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the American Association for Dental Research.



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