Teeth are fundamental to maintaining good quality of life, but are often lost prematurely in individuals with intellectual disability. Furthermore, since bone mass decreases in menopausal women, women with intellectual disability have an augmented risk of losing their teeth. However, the relationship between periodontal disease-related tooth loss and bone mass has never been studied specifically in patients with intellectual disability. This study evaluated this relationship in a retrospective cohort study.

Participants were female dental patients aged between 20 and 50 years and with an intellectual disability, who were treated in the Special Needs Dentistry unit of the Okayama University Hospital from January 2009 to March 2010. Logistic regression analysis was used to analyze which factors affect periodontal disease-related tooth loss. Information relating to 12 predictor variables, including age and bone mass level, was derived from medical records.

The 27 subjects had a total of 704 teeth at the time of initial examination, but 20 teeth (2.8%) had been lost owing to periodontal disease by the time bone mass measurements were recorded. Results of the multinomial logistic regression analysis indicated a significant odds ratio for three items: number of missing teeth at the time of initial examination, bone mass, and living environment.

This result suggests that low bone mass is an independent risk factor in tooth loss secondary to periodontal disease in patients with intellectual disability. Dentists should thus take account of this heightened risk of tooth loss when caring for post-menopausal women with intellectual disability.

Keywords: : Bone mass, cohort study, intellectual disability, menopause, osteoporosis, periodontal disease.
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