Is tooth loss associated with multiple chronic conditions?

Sara Hag Mohamed, Wael Sabbah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To examine the relationship between tooth loss and co-occurrence of multiple chronic conditions (MCC) among American adults at working age. Materials and methods: Data was from the Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System 2018, a cross-sectional telephone-based, nationally representative survey of American adults. We included participants aged 25–64 years. The survey included sociodemographic data, reported diagnosis of chronic conditions, the number of missing teeth and health behaviours. An aggregate variable of chronic conditions was created which included heart attack, angina, stroke, cancer, chronic pulmonary disease, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, depression, and kidney diseases. The association between the number of missing teeth and the aggregate of chronic conditions was assessed adjusting for confounders. Results: The analysis included 202,809 participants. The mean number of MCC was 0.86 (95% Confidence Interval ‘CI’:0.85,0.87). Tooth loss was significantly associated with MCC with rate ratio 1.18 (95% CI:1.15,1.21), 1.53 (95% CI:1.48,1.59) and 1.62 (95% CI:1.55,1.69) for those reporting losing 1–5 teeth, 6 or more but not all, and all teeth, respectively after adjusting for demographic, socioeconomic, and behavioural factors. Conclusion: Tooth loss could be an early marker for the co-occurrence of multiple chronic conditions among adults of working age. The association could be attributed to common risk factors for oral and general health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-448
Number of pages6
JournalActa Odontologica Scandinavica
Issue number6
Early online date12 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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