Can good dental health help protect against cognitive decline and dementia?

Summary: Good dental health can help protect against cognitive decline and dementia. Tooth decay was associated with a 23% increased risk of cognitive decline and a 21% increased risk of dementia.

Source: Wiley

A review of all relevant studies published in the medical literature indicates that poor periodontal health and tooth loss may increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.

The analysis, which is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Societyincluded 47 studies.

Poor periodontal health (reflected by periodontitis, tooth loss, deep periodontal pockets, or alveolar bone loss) was associated with a 23% higher likelihood of cognitive decline and a 21% higher risk of dementia.

Tooth loss alone was linked to a 23% higher likelihood of cognitive decline and a 13% higher risk of dementia.

The overall quality of the evidence, however, was low.

Tooth loss alone was linked to a 23% higher likelihood of cognitive decline and a 13% higher risk of dementia. Image is in public domain

“From a clinical perspective, our results underscore the importance of periodontal health monitoring and management in the context of dementia prevention, although the available evidence is not yet sufficient to indicate ways clear ways of early identification of people at risk, and the most effective. measures to prevent cognitive deterioration,” the authors wrote.

About this cognitive decline and current dental health research

Author: Dawn Peters
Source: Wiley
Contact: Dawn Peters – Wiley
Image: Image is in public domain

Original research: Free access.
Periodontal health, cognitive decline and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies” by Sam Asher et al. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society


Summary

Periodontal health, cognitive decline and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies

See also

This shows the hands of an older lady

Background

Emerging evidence indicates that poor periodontal health negatively impacts cognition. This review examined the available longitudinal evidence regarding the effect of poor periodontal health on cognitive decline and dementia.

Methods

A comprehensive literature search was conducted in five electronic databases for relevant studies published up to April 2022. Longitudinal studies with periodontal health as exposure and cognitive decline and/or dementia as outcomes were considered. account. Pooled random-effects estimates and 95% confidence intervals were generated (pooled odds ratio for cognitive decline and hazard ratio for dementia) to assess whether poor periodontal health increases the risk of cognitive decline and of dementia. Heterogeneity between studies was estimated by I2 and the quality of the available evidence was assessed using quality assessment criteria.

Results

The search strategy adopted yielded 2132 studies on cognitive decline and 2023 on dementia, of which 47 studies (24 on cognitive decline and 23 on dementia) were included in this review. Poor periodontal health (reflected by periodontitis, tooth loss, deep periodontal pockets, or alveolar bone loss) was associated with both cognitive decline (OR = 1.23; 1.05 to 1.44) and dementia (HR = 1.21; 1.07 to 1.38).

Further analysis, based on periodontal assessment measures, revealed that tooth loss independently increased the risk of cognitive decline (OR=1.23; 1.09-1.39) and dementia (HR=1 .13; 1.04-1.23). Stratified analysis based on the extent of tooth loss indicated that partial tooth loss was important for cognitive decline (OR=1.50; 1.02-2.23) and complete tooth loss for cognitive decline. dementia (HR = 1.23; 1.05-1.45). However, the overall quality of the evidence was low and the associations were due at least in part to reverse causation.

conclusion

Poor periodontal health and tooth loss appear to increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. However, the available evidence is limited (eg very heterogeneous, lacking robust methodology) to draw firm conclusions. Further well-designed studies involving standardized assessment of periodontal and cognitive health and addressing reverse causation are highly warranted.