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J Am Dent Assoc. 2007 Oct;138(10):1314-22; quiz 1381-2.

Tooth loss, dementia and neuropathology in the Nun study.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, College of Medicine, MN 210 Chandler Medical Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA. pam.stein@uky.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Numerous studies have linked dementia to the subsequent deterioration of oral health. Few investigators, however, have examined oral disease as a potential risk factor in the development of dementia. The authors conducted a study to investigate a potential association between a history of oral disease and the development of dementia.

METHODS:

Longitudinal dental records supplemented data collected from 10 annual cognitive assessments of 144 Milwaukee participants in the Nun Study, a longitudinal study of aging and Alzheimer disease, who were 75 to 98 years old. Neuropathologic findings at autopsy were available for 118 participants who died.

RESULTS:

A low number of teeth increased the risk of higher prevalence and incidence of dementia.

CONCLUSION:

Participants with the fewest teeth had the highest risk of prevalence and incidence of dementia.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Edentulism or very few (one to nine) teeth may be predictors of dementia late in life.

PMID:
17908844
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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