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Does Cognitive Function Affect Oral Health During Ageing?

In a 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.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 12:01 am EST
"Our study suggested a close link between cognitive function and oral health in older adults"

In a 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 included 4,416 UK adults aged 50 years or older whose cognitive function was assessed in 2002–2003. Participants then reported the number of teeth they had remaining and their general oral health status in 2014–2015.

When cognitive function score was categorized into quintiles, there was a clear gradient association between cognitive function and 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 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,” said senior author Dr. Jianhua Wu, of the University of Leeds, in the UK. “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.”

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cdoe.12452 

About Journal 

The aim of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology is to serve as a forum for scientifically based information in community dentistry, with the intention of continually expanding the knowledge base in the field. The scope is therefore broad, ranging from original studies in epidemiology, behavioral sciences related to dentistry, and health services research through to methodological reports in program planning, implementation and evaluation. Reports dealing with people of all age groups are welcome.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, and our digital learning, assessment, certification and student-lifecycle services and solutions help universities, academic societies, businesses, governments and individuals to achieve their academic and professional goals. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.

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Image Credit: Dr. Wu - Cognitive function and oral health among ageing adults
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