Periodontal status is associated with cognitive impairment, according to research published in the latest edition of JCP Digest.
A study by researchers in Taiwan, using data from a nationally representative sample of US, found that individuals with mild and moderate-to-severe periodontitis had higher scores in two out of three tests, indicating decreased cognitive function compared to people without periodontitis.
Researchers said that individuals with dementia require special attention and that the diagnosis of cognitive impairment or dementia should lead to a dental examination followed by dental treatment, if necessary.
They cautioned that it was plausible that subjects with impaired cognition tend not to maintain an adequate level of oral hygiene and oral health. But objective oral-hygiene assessment and plaque indices of the investigated subjects were not collected in the database used in the study.
The research was summarised as JCP Digest No. 68 by a postgraduate student at the EFP-accredited programme in periodontology at the University of Bern in Switzerland. The original research was published in the August edition of the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.