Study indicates close relationship between cognitive function and oral health in older adults

In a paper release in Community Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology study, poor cognitive function in older adults was associated with poorer oral health and higher risk of tooth loss in later life.

The study, co-authored by Dr Jianhua,  included 4,416 UK adults aged 50 years or older whose cognitive function was assessed in 2002-2003. Participants were asked to reported the number of teeth they had remaining and comment further on their general oral health condition in 2014-2015.

When cognitive function score was categorized into quintiles, there was a clear gradient association between patients cognitive function and increased tooth loss. People in the lowest quintile reflecting poorer cognitive function had a 39 percent higher odds of tooth loss than those in the highest quintile. A similar magnitude and general direction of association was evident between cognitive function and self-rated oral health.

"Our study suggested a close link between cognitive function and oral health in older adults, the findings indicate that an improvement in cognitive function could potentially improve oral health and reduce the risk of tooth loss in the ageing population." 

senior author Dr. Jianhua Wu.

Adapted from news-medical.