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The apple test is well known as an indicator of the strength of one’s teeth and gums, but it seems that it may also be indicative of a patient’s mental health as well.

A new study from Sweden published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society links cognitive function with the ability to chew. The study compared 557 people over the age of 77, and found that patients who could still chew retained better mental capacity, while those who could not were at higher risk for cognitive impairments. Interestingly enough, the chewing motion could be done with natural or artificial teeth, this does not seem to matter.

One possible reason behind the correlation is that the motion of chewing stimulates blood circulation to the brain. Yet another reason to keep those chompers healthy.

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