Periodontitis, tooth loss and cognitive functions among older adults.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

This study aims to evaluate the potential association between periodontitis, the number of teeth and cognitive functions in a cohort of older adults in Sweden.

MATERIAL AND METHODS

In total, 775 individuals from 60 to 99 years of age were selected for the study. A clinical and radiographic examination was performed. The number of teeth and prevalence of periodontal pockets and bone loss was calculated and categorised. Cognitive functions were assessed using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and clock test. The education level was obtained from a questionnaire. Data were analysed using chi-square tests and multivariate logistic regression.

RESULTS

Age and gender were associated with the prevalence of bone loss. Age and education were associated with lower number of teeth. Gender was also associated with the presence of pockets. The multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated a statistically significant association between prevalence of bone loss, the number of teeth and the outcome on MMSE test. This association remained even after adjustment for age, education and gender. Tooth loss was also associated with lower outcome on clock test. Presence of periodontal pockets ≥ 5 mm was not associated with cognitive test outcome.

CONCLUSIONS

A history of periodontitis and tooth loss may be of importance for cognitive functions among older adults.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Diseases with and inflammatory profile may have an impact on cognitive decline.

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