Division of Clinical Geriatrics, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Dementia may be associated with discontinuation of regular dental checkups, which in turn results in poorer oral health.
We investigated the trend of change in dental care utilization and the number of teeth before and after being diagnosed with dementia. Longitudinal cognitive- and dental health-related information were merged using data on 58,037 newly diagnosed individuals from the Swedish Dementia Registry and Swedish Dental Health Register during 2007 to 2015.
Following dementia diagnosis, rate of dental care visits significantly declined. Individuals with mixed dementia, dementia with parkinsonism, and those with more severe and faster cognitive impairment had significantly higher rate of decline in dental care utilization. Vascular dementia and lower baseline Mini-Mental State Examination score were significant predictors of faster loss of teeth.
Dental care utilization markedly declines following dementia diagnosis. The reduction is more prominent in those with rapid progressive cognitive impairment and the ones with extra frailty burden.