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NIA-Supported Research Shows Tooth Loss in Older Adults Linked to Higher Risk of Dementia

Older adults with tooth loss have a higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, and this risk increases with each missing tooth, recent NIA-supported research shows.

Researchers led by a team at New York University analyzed results from several long-term studies on the link between tooth loss and the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. They found that participants with more missing teeth had, on average, a 48% higher risk of cognitive impairment and a 28% higher risk of dementia. Interestingly, participants who had missing teeth but used dentures did not have a significantly higher risk of dementia than participants without missing teeth.

Researchers note that the reason for this association between tooth loss and the risk of cognitive decline is unclear. However, the results suggest that the use of dentures, orthodontic treatments, and education programs on the importance of oral hygiene in older adults might help prevent or slow down cognitive decline linked to tooth loss.

Visit NIA’s website to read more about this study on tooth loss and increased risk of dementia in older adults.

Last Updated on January 27, 2022

Published by Chrishun Brown

Communications Manager for the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center

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