Poor oral health conditions and cognitive decline: Studies in humans and rats.PLoS One. 2020; 15(7):e0234659.Plos
The relationship between poor oral health conditions and cognitive decline is unclear.
To examine the association between oral health and cognition in humans and rats.
In humans: a cross-sectional study was conducted. Cognitive levels were evaluated by the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE); oral conditions were reflected by the number of missing index teeth, bleeding on probing, and probing pocket depth (PD). In rats: a ligature-induced (Lig) periodontitis model and Aβ25-35-induced model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) were established; tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin 1 (IL-1), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and C-reactive protein levels in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex were detected.
MMSE scores for the number of missing index teeth ≥ 7 group were significantly lower than those in the ≤ 6 group. A negative relationship (correlation coefficient ρ = -0.310, P = 0.002) was observed between MMSE scores and number of missing index teeth. More missing index teeth and lower education levels were independent risk factors for cognitive decline. A negative relationship (correlation coefficient ρ = -0.214, P = 0.031) was observed between MMSE scores and average PD. TNF-α and IL-6 levels in the hippocampus of the Lig+AD group were significantly higher than those of the AD group. IL-1 and IL-6 levels in the cerebral cortex of the Lig+AD group were significantly higher than those of the AD group.
Poor oral health conditions including more missing index teeth and higher average PD may be risk factors for cognitive decline. Periodontitis may increase inflammatory cytokines in rat models of AD.