Good dental health protects against cognitive decline and dementia


  • More than 50 million people are affected by dementia worldwide.
  • Dementia is a syndrome characterized by progressive cognitive decline and functional disability.

We knew the risk factors.editable” dementia and cognitive decline such as poor diet, smoking… Another risk factor, the poor condition of the teeth and their supporting tissues (bones and gums), has only recently been explored with a still limited level of evidence.

23% increase

However, a new study provides new information on this subject: indeed, thanks to an analysis published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, conducted on 47 studies, we learn that poor periodontal health was associated with a 23% increase in the risk of cognitive decline and 21% in the risk of dementia. Tooth loss alone was linked to a 23% increased risk of cognitive decline and 13% increased risk of dementia.


Poor oral health can be reflected in periodontitis, an inflammation of the supporting tissues of the teeth which, in severe cases, results in tooth loss and affects approximately 10-15% of the world’s adult population.

But it can also consist of a loss of deep periodontal pockets, caused by the destruction of the supporting tissues of the tooth, including the bone, or even a loss of alveolar bone which surrounds the tooth root.

Decisive role

Periodontal health plays a key role in several diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease and its link to mental health should be the subject of more research in the future, as it is an evolving topic, say the researchers.

From a clinical perspective, our findings 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 clear ways early identification of those at risk and the most effective measures to prevent cognitive deterioration“, they indicate.

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