If you’ve been avoiding crunchy food due to dental problems, we have bad news for you. Your brain power may be dwindling.
Several research studies have shown that chewing stimulates your brain, while slurping down soft food does just the opposite. In some cases, a diet of soft foods may not only bore your brain but also be a risk factor for dementia.
Chew On This
Chewing has been associated with improved brain processing performance, enhanced alertness, and better reflexes. Why? Some researchers think that chewing stimulates the brain, helping to keep brain functions alert and active. Our brains don’t like to be bored. They are happiest when they are performing tasks, solving challenges, and getting lots of exercise. Although chewing may seem like a basic, repetitive chore – it’s big fun for our brains.
Studies have indicated that losing your teeth before you reach age 35 is a significant risk factor for dementia or Alzheimer Disease. Additional research has been attempting to determine whether tooth loss contributed to reduced brain function, or was a symptom of overall ill health. Chances are, its both, but lack of healthy teeth apparently does have a distinct impact on your brain’s ability to access and process information.
The good news is that replacing lost or damaged teeth can fix the problem. You don’t need natural teeth to benefit from the brain boosting power of chewing. Chomping on crunchy foods with dental implants, crowns or dentures stimulates the brain as effectively as chewing with your original set of teeth. Implants, since the stimulate the jaw and surrounding tissues, seemed to enhance the chewing experience for the brain.
The research also found that if you have a badly aligned bite, your brain might not be getting the full benefit from your chewing. Likewise, if you have jaw problems, such as a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD/TMJ) you may not be chewing vigorously enough to keep your brain happy.
On that note, don’t go overboard with the chewing to boost your brain power. Incessant, aggressive chewing can overwork your jaw muscles and cause pain as well as difficulty opening or closing your jaws.