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Poor Dental Health May Increase Risk for Incident Dementia, MCI

Edentulism associated with significantly increased risk for combined MCI/dementia outcome

WEDNESDAY, July 29, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with severe periodontal disease or edentulism have an increased risk for incident dementia, according to a study published online July 29 in Neurology.

Ryan T. Demmer, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues enrolled 8,275 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study with a clinical periodontal examination in 1996 to 1998 and adjudicated dementia outcomes through 2016. Following a full-mouth periodontal exam, participants were classified into periodontal profile classes (PPCs) according to the severity and extent of gingival inflammation and attachment loss.

The researchers found that during an average follow-up of 18.4 years, the cumulative incidence and incidence density of dementia were 19 percent and 11.8 cases per 1,000 person-years, respectively. Among participants with severe-PPC or edentulism, compared with periodontal healthy participants, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for incident dementia were 1.22 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.47) and 1.21 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.48), respectively. For mild/intermediate-PPC, severe PPC, or edentulism versus periodontal healthy, the combined dementia/mild cognitive impairment outcome adjusted risk ratios were 1.22 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.48), 1.15 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.88 to 1.51), and 1.90 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.40 to 2.58), respectively. Among younger participants (≤62 years), results were stronger.

"Good dental hygiene is a proven way to keep healthy teeth and gums throughout your lifetime," Demmer said in a statement. "Our study does not prove that an unhealthy mouth causes dementia and only shows an association."

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