Oral Health as a Risk Factor for Alzheimer Disease

S. M. Pruntel, B. C. van Munster, J. J. de Vries, A. Vissink, Anita Visser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Downloads (Pure)


In patients with Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiological changes of the brain that initiate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease include accumulation of amyloid-β plaques and phosphorylation of tau-tangles. A rather recently considered risk factor for the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is poor oral health. The aim of this systematic review of the literature was to assess the potential association(s) of oral health as a risk factor for the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. After a systematic search of Pubmed, Embase and Web of Science. A total of 1962 studies were assessed, of which 17 studies demonstrated possible associations between oral health diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. 4 theories could be distinguished that describe the possible links between oral health and the development or onset of Alzheimer’s disease; 1) role of pathogens, 2) role of inflammatory mediators, 3) role of APOE alleles and 4) role of Aβ peptide. The main common denominator of all the theories is the neuroinflammation due to poor oral health. Yet, there is insufficient evidence to prove a link due to the diversity of the designs used and the quality of the study design of the included studies. Therefore, further research is needed to find causal links between oral health and neuroinflammation that possibly can lead to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease with the future intention to prevent cognitive decline by better dental care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-258
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number1
Early online date28-Jun-2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • cognitive decline
  • oral health
  • periodontitis

Cite this