So, Newcastle University academics have found that “losing one’s teeth can be as emotionally damaging as losing a limb” (“Sans teeth, sans confidence”, Campus round-up, 12 December). Also worrying is the finding by scientists from the universities of Stockholm, Umeå and Tromsø, published in the August issue of the European Journal of Oral Sciences, that the number of natural teeth one has is positively correlated with episodic memory performance on recall and recognition tests.
However, as it is the festive season, we should remember that Bill Evans (1929-1980), one of the greatest jazz pianists, continued to play masterfully after having all his teeth extracted.
R. E. Rawles
Honorary research fellow in psychology
University College London