Poor Oral Health as a Risk Factor for Dementia in a Swedish Population: A Cohort Study with 40 Years of Follow-Up. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Whether poor oral health is associated with dementia risk remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: We conducted a cohort study of 14,439 participants who were followed up for up to 40 years in Uppsala County, central Sweden, aiming to explore the association between poor oral health, namely the number of tooth loss, dental plaque status, and oral mucosal lesions, and the risk of dementia. METHODS: We used Cox proportional hazards regression model to derive cause-specific hazard ratios (HR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI), while adjusting for baseline potential confounders as well as a time-varying covariate, Charlson's Comorbidity Index score. RESULTS: Dementia risk was substantially higher among those with a higher number of tooth loss; compared to the group with tooth loss 0-10, the HRs were 1.21 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.42), 1.17 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.40), and 1.30 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.54) respectively for groups with increasing number of tooth loss. There was some evidence of dose-risk association in this study, with a HR of 1.10 (1.04, 1.18) comparing adjacent groups (ptrend=0.001). In a stratified analysis by attained age, tooth loss was more pronouncedly associated with the risk of dementia onset before age 80 (those with 21-32 versus 0-10 lost teeth, HR=1.82, (95% CI: 1.32, 2.51); HR=1.22 (95% CI: 1.10, 1.35) comparing adjacent groups, ptrend<0.001). CONCLUSION: In summary, there are some indications that poor oral health, as indicated by more tooth loss, is positively associated with an increased risk of dementia, especially for dementia onset before age 80.

published proceedings

  • J Alzheimers Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • He, F., Luo, H., Yin, L. i., Roosaar, A., Axll, T., Zhao, H., & Ye, W.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • He, Fei||Luo, Huizi||Yin, Li||Roosaar, Ann||AxĂ©ll, Tony||Zhao, Hongwei||Ye, Weimin

publication date

  • March 2023