J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2015 Sep;39(3):214-219. 10.11149/jkaoh.2015.39.3.214.

The relationship between the number of remaining teeth and senile dementia: A pilot study

  • 1Department of Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea. kbsong@knu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Dental Hygiene, Ulsan College, Ulsan, Korea.
  • 3Namgu Public Health Center, Daegu, Korea.


Recently, studies aiming to improve the quality of life of the elderly have become more common. In the aging population, oral health is an important consideration for overall good systemic health. Oral health is closely related to general health and should not be ignored. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there are associations between the mastication level and number of remaining teeth and the cognitive function. These associations were investigated using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score and the results of oral examinations in elderly individuals.
Participants who were aged over 60 years and living in Daegu city underwent oral examination for assessing their oral condition; their cognitive function was evaluated using the MMSE. The collected data were analyzed using the chi-square test, t-test, and logistic regression in SPSS. Logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship between the MMSE score and the number of remaining teeth, and the 95% confidence intervals were computed.
Although a significant relationship was found between the number of remaining teeth and the MMSE score, the differences were not large. The odds ratio (OR) when the number of remaining teeth was 0-10 was 3.02 (95% confidence interval: 1.200-7.581).
This study showed a slight but significant relationship between the MMSE score and the number of remaining teeth in elderly individuals.


Dementia; Mastication; Remaining tooth
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