Periodontitis, tooth loss and cognitive functions among older adults

Helena Nilsson, Johan Sanmartin Berglund, Stefan Renvert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2103-2109
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Dentistry (30216)


  • Dementia
  • Epidemiology
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Periodontal diseases and tooth loss


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