Study finds link between tooth loss and elevated risk of dementia

In a study of 1566 community-dwelling Japanese elderly who were followed for 5 years, the risk of developing dementia was elevated in individuals with fewer remaining teeth.

Individuals with 10-19, 1-9, and no teeth had 62%, 81%, and 63% higher risks of dementia, respectively, than individuals with >20 teeth. Likewise, an inverse association was observed between the number of remaining teeth and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

"Our findings emphasize the clinical importance of dental care and treatment, especially in terms of maintenance of teeth from an early age for reducing the future risk of dementia," said Dr. Tomoyuki Ohara, co-author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study.

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