We know that tooth loss is associated with premature death. There are many potential reasons for the linkage. It could be related to gum disease, poor diet, or reduced bite force contributing to physical and mental aging. However, one of the big unanswered questions that remains is the role dentures can play in combating this effect.
Now a new study shows that dentures do help. Looking at a large number of elderly individuals, the study shows that people who wore their dentures were less likely to die than people with the same number of teeth who didn’t wear their dentures.
A Large Population-Based Study
For this study, researchers looked at a population of more than 36,000 elderly individuals with a median age of 90. They used structured questionnaires to determine how many teeth these individuals had and whether or not they used dentures.
They then observed the subjects for nearly 146,000 patient-years, documenting nearly 26,000 deaths among the subjects.
They analyzed these deaths and compared them with a hazard model that accounted for factors like demographics, income, education, lifestyle, and other health conditions that could contribute to early death.
Dentures Extend Lives
The analysis showed that people with fewer teeth were more likely to die. Compared to those with 20+ teeth, people’s risk of death was increased:
- 14% for those with 10-19 teeth
- 23% for those with 1-9 teeth
- 35% for those with no teeth
This finding confirms previous studies showing that tooth loss can lead to increased risk of death.
However, researchers then looked at the impact of dentures, and found that wearing dentures actually reduced a person’s risk of death by 19%.
This large impact was most pronounced for men and the youngest denture wearers, and tended to decrease with age. However, the benefit of dentures was not significantly linked to the number of teeth lost.
We might presume that the benefit isn’t actually linked to dentures, but perhaps to some other effect that is linked to dentures, such as education or income, but the study corrected for those factors. This leads us to believe that the effect is probably linked to denture use.
Get Dentures You Can Wear Comfortably
This study shows that dentures are a potentially life-saving technology. However, it’s also a technology that many people don’t fully utilize. That’s because many people have dentures that are too uncomfortable to wear either for long, or even at all in some cases. Getting comfortable dentures that you actually wear isn’t just a matter of having a smile to show, it could be a matter of life and death, as this study shows.
If you are looking for a set of comfortable, attractive dentures, FOY® Dentures utilize the latest advances in cosmetic and neuromuscular dentistry to achieve the best fit as well as the best appearance. To learn how you might benefit from FOY® Dentures, please contact a local FOY® Dentures dentist today for a consultation.