Gum disease, especially the kind that is irreversible and causes tooth loss, may be associated with mild cognitive impairment and dementia 20 years later, according to a new study.
A recent study found that people with the most severe gum disease at the start of the study had about twice the risk for mild cognitive impairment or dementia by the end. People with minimal tooth loss and mild gum disease were no more likely to develop thinking problems or dementia than people with no dental problems.
People with intermediate or severe gum disease, but who still had some teeth, had a 20% greater risk of developing mild cognitive impairment or dementia compared to the healthy group. These risks were after researchers accounted for other factors that could affect dementia risk, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking.
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