Association Between Residual Teeth Number In Later Life And Incidence Of Dementia: A Systematic Review And Meta-analysis

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BMC Geriatrics


BioMed Central Ltd.






Background: It has been suggested that tooth loss in later life might increase dementia incidence. The objective of this analysis is to systematically review the current evidence on the relationship between the number of remaining teeth and dementia occurrence in later life. Methods: A search of multiple databases of scientific literature was conducted with relevant parameters for articles published up to March 25th, 2017. Multiple cohort studies that reported the incidence of dementia and residual teeth in later life were found with observation periods ranging from 2.4 to 32 years. Random-effects pooled odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated to examine whether high residual tooth number in later life was associated with a decreased risk of dementia. Heterogeneity was measured by I 2. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system was used to assess the overall quality of evidence. Results: The literature search initially yielded 419 articles and 11 studies (aged 52 to 75 at study enrollment, n = 28,894) were finally included for analysis. Compared to the low residual teeth number group, the high residual teeth number group was associated with a decreased risk of dementia by approximately 50% (pooled OR = 0.483; 95% CI 0.315 to 0.740; p < 0.001; I 2 = 92.421%). The overall quality of evidence, however, was rated as very low. Conclusion: Despite limited scientific strength, the current meta-analysis reported that a higher number of residual teeth was associated with having a lower risk of dementia occurrence in later life. © 2018 The Author(s).


Dementia; Meta-analysis; Teeth; [MeSH terms]: Elderly



UNLV article access

Search your library