Dementia and oral health among subjects aged 75 years or older

Gerodontology. 2012 Mar;29(1):36-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2010.00396.x. Epub 2010 Jun 30.


Objective: To study the association between diagnosed dementia and oral health, focusing on the type of dementia, among an elderly population aged 75 years or older.

Background: Elderly people with dementia are at risk from oral diseases, but to date, only a few studies have analysed the association between type of dementia and oral health, and their results are inconclusive.

Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study is based on the Geriatric multi-disciplinary strategy (Gems) study that included 76 demented and 278 non-demented subjects. The data were collected by means of an interview and an oral clinical examination. The type of dementia was diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria. Poisson's and logistic regression models were used to determine relative risks (RR), odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence limits (CI).

Results: Our results showed that patients with Alzheimer's disease and those with other types of dementia had an increased likelihood of having carious teeth, teeth with deep periodontal pockets, and poor oral and denture hygiene, compared with non-demented persons. The results showed that the type of dementia does not seem to be an essential determinant of oral health.

Conclusions: Among the elderly aged 75 years or older, patients with Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia are at increased risk of poor oral health and poor oral hygiene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dementia, Vascular / complications*
  • Dental Caries / etiology*
  • Dental Plaque / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Independent Living / statistics & numerical data
  • Lewy Body Disease / complications
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Odds Ratio
  • Oral Hygiene / statistics & numerical data*
  • Periodontal Pocket / etiology*
  • Risk Factors