Changes in oral and cognitive functions among older Japanese dental outpatients: A 2-year follow-up study

Shinsuke Mizutani, Rui Egashira, Masahiro Yamaguchi, Keiko Tamai, Mizuki Yoshida, Tomotaka Kato, Yojiro Umezaki, Hisae Aoki, Toru Naito

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8 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The relationship between oral and cognitive functions among older people is highly debated.

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether oral functions are related to changes in the levels of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) biomarkers in older Japanese outpatients.

METHODS: This observational study included 52 outpatients aged ≥65 years who underwent dental examinations at the Fukuoka Dental College Hospital. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was performed, and MCI blood biomarker levels were assessed at baseline and after 2 years. The present dental and periodontal conditions and the oral functions (tongue pressure and masticatory performance) were evaluated. Changes in parameters from baseline to follow-up were compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, McNemar test, or chi-squared test. Associations among changes in the parameters were analyzed using Spearman's rank correlation coefficient.

RESULTS: The follow-up rate in this study was 67%. The masticatory performance was improved (P < 0.001), whereas gingival inflammation was decreased (P < 0.001) over the 2-year period. A significant increase in the MMSE score (P < 0.001) and a decrease in MCI risk (P < 0.001) were noted. The decrease in MCI risk was correlated with the increase in both masticatory performance (ρ = -0.34; P < 0.05) and MMSE score (ρ = -0.56; P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION: A decrease in MCI risk, as demonstrated by the levels of the blood biomarkers, was correlated with an increase in the masticatory performance in Japanese outpatients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of oral rehabilitation
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 9 2021


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