Tooth loss, chewing efficiency and cognitive impairment in geriatric patients.

Elsig, Fanny; Schimmel, Martin; Duvernay, Elena; Giannelli, Sandra V; Graf, Christoph E; Carlier, Sabrina; Herrmann, François R; Michel, Jean-Pierre; Gold, Gabriel; Zekry, Dina; Müller, Frauke (2015). Tooth loss, chewing efficiency and cognitive impairment in geriatric patients. Gerodontology, 32(2), pp. 149-156. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/ger.12079

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BACKGROUND Patients with dementia have poorer oral health and fewer teeth than their peers without cognitive impairment. OBJECTIVE The hypothesis of this study is that the number of natural teeth and the chewing efficiency are associated with cognitive functioning. METHODS This cross-sectional study included 29 patients diagnosed with dementia aged 75 years or older and 22 controls who were either cognitively normal (n = 19) or with mild cognitive impairment (n = 3). Neuropsychological, nutritional and dental assessments were performed. The chewing efficiency was evaluated with a two-colour mixing test. RESULTS Demented patients and controls presented with a mean of 4.9 and 6.5 teeth, respectively (n.s.). The number of natural teeth was not associated with dementia (p = 0.553). Same results were found for age (p = 0.746) and sex (p = 0.901). The chewing efficiency by visual inspection proved worse in participants with dementia than in the controls (p < 0.011) and explained 9.3% of the variance in the diagnosis of dementia. Neither dental state nor chewing efficiency was related to the nutritional state. CONCLUSION Chewing efficiency seems stronger associated with cognitive impairment than the number of teeth. Hence, in a more holistic approach for the geriatric assessment, the dental examination may be complemented by a chewing efficiency test.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Reconstructive Dentistry and Gerodontology

UniBE Contributor:

Schimmel, Martin


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Eveline Carmen Schuler

Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2016 14:10

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 19:45

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

elderly, chewing, dementia, geriatrics, mild cognitive impairment, risk factor




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