Background: Poor oral health has been associated with some components of frailty. The objective of this study was to identify the association between clinical measures of oral health and the incidence of frailty among community-dwelling older adults aged 70 or older in Mexico City.

Methods: A 3-year cohort study with a probabilistic representative sample of home-dwelling elders of one district of Mexico City was performed. Baseline and follow-up interview and oral clinical evaluations were carried out by standardized examiners in participants' homes. Dependent variable was incident frailty defined according to the frailty phenotype. Independent variables were the utilization of dental services, the presence of xerostomia, the number of natural teeth, use of removable dental prostheses, presence of severe periodontitis, and presence of root remnants. Sociodemographic, behavioral, and health measures were included as confounders. The association between oral health conditions and incident frailty was modeled using Poisson regression models with robust variance estimators. The models were adjusted for confounders and interactions.

Results: We identified a 14.8% cumulative incidence of frailty. Each additional tooth was associated with a lower probability of developing frailty by 5.0% (risk ratio = 0.90; 95% CI 1.02-1.10). The 3-year risk ratio of developing frailty was 2.13 times higher (95% CI 1.01-4.50) among participants having severe periodontitis.

Conclusions: The number of teeth and the presence of severe periodontitis are associated with the development of frailty after controlling for confounders. Further studies are needed on this topic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951-957
Number of pages7
JournalThe journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences
Issue number7
Early online date25 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Journal Article


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