In a study from the University of Eastern Finland, scientists found that poor periodontal health and tooth loss may increase the risk of both cognitive decline and dementia.
They did an analysis of all relevant studies published in the medical literature.
The analysis included 47 studies. Poor periodontal health (reflected by having periodontitis, tooth loss, deep periodontal pockets, or alveolar bone loss) was linked to 23% higher odds of cognitive decline and a 21% higher risk of dementia.
Tooth loss alone was linked to 23% higher odds of cognitive decline and a 13% higher risk of dementia. The overall quality of evidence was low, however.
The team says from a clinical perspective, the findings emphasize the importance of monitoring and management of periodontal health in the context of dementia prevention, although the available evidence is not yet sufficient to point out clear ways for early identification of at-risk individuals, and the most efficient measures to prevent cognitive deterioration.
The study was conducted by Sam Asher et al and published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
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