3 unexpected signs you’re at risk for memory mishaps

Even your mouth can impact your brain

As we age, concerns about brain health often take center stage. Recent research, highlighted in AARP, suggests the keys to maintaining sharp cognition extend beyond traditional brain-focused approaches.

“What’s becoming better appreciated is that the risk of developing brain diseases is linked to the health of the (other) organs,” said Dr. Constantino Ladecola, a neurologist at Weill Cornell Medicine. “The whole story is not the brain.”

The intricate relationship between various bodily systems and brain function is coming to light, highlighting surprising indicators that could signify heightened risks for memory problems. Here are three unexpected signs to watch out for:


Whether you admit to snoring or not, it could signal underlying sleep apnea, a condition marked by disrupted breathing during sleep. Ladecola emphasized that untreated sleep apnea deprives the brain of oxygen, potentially paving the path for cognitive decline, AARP reported. Fortunately, devices like CPAP machines offer relief and can reduce cognitive risks associated with sleep disturbances.

Not flossing

Looking after your teeth isn’t just about a winning smile. Recent studies show a clear link between oral health and brain health. Gum disease and tooth loss are associated with brain shrinkage, particularly in the memory-related hippocampus. Additionally, gum disease increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. The correlation could be linked to chronic inflammation from mouth bacteria, which travels to the brain and contributes to dementia. Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for both a healthy smile and a sharp mind.

Experiencing hearing loss

Hearing loss can quietly affect your brain’s vitality. Research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health highlights a worrying link between moderate to severe hearing loss and higher rates of dementia. On the bright side, other research shows using hearing aids can cut the risk of cognitive decline by almost half over three years.