Periodontal disease, severity and progression of dementia in a residential UK community

Marina Harris, Clive Holmes, Annette Stevens, Mark Ide

Research output: Contribution to journalPoster abstractpeer-review


Aim: To investigate associations between baseline levels of periodontitis, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) status and subsequent cognitive decline.Material and Methods: 52 nonsmoking participants (mean age 77.7 years, (sd 8.6), 51% male) with >9 teeth and >2 teeth probing 5mm or greater were recruited. None had received active periodontal treatment or newly initiated cholinesterase inhibitor medication in the previous 6 months. Participants were assessed at baseline and 6 months later using AD Assessment Scale (ADAS) and Mini-Mental State examination (MMSE), followed by recording teeth present and, at 6 sites per tooth, dental plaque, probing depths, and bleeding on probing. Results: Participants had a mean of 21.9 teeth (sd 5.2), 17% of sites with bleeding and 89% of sites with detectable plaque: around 20% of sites had visible deposits. 9% of sites probed more than 3mm. Participants had mean baseline MMSE of 20.44 (sd 4.98), and mean ADAS of 46.15, suggesting mild to moderate dementia.Baseline MMSE negatively correlated with the percentage of sites probing > 3mm (p=0.048, r=-0.258). Baseline number of teeth positively correlated (r=0.2867, p= 0.0435) with subsequent ADAS changes; there were negative correlations between MMSE changes and disease (for sites > 3mm r=-0.3171 p=0.022, sites > 4mm r=-0.2941 p= 0.0343). Participants with baseline absence of moderate to severe periodontitis showed no changes, whereas those with gum disease had reduced MMSE (-2.5 units, p=0.0229), and increased ADAS over time (p=0.0064).Conclusion: These data suggest a relationship between periodontitis and subsequent cognitive decline.This work was supported by The Dunhill Medical Trust [grant number R190/0211]
Original languageEnglish
Article numberD013
Pages (from-to)34-35
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue numberS17
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2015


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