Dental prosthetic treatment reduced the risk of weight loss among older adults with tooth loss

Taro Kusama, Noriko Nakazawa, Sakura Kiuchi, Katsunori Kondo, Ken Osaka, Jun Aida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Weight loss is a critical health issue in older adults. Oral function is essential for nutrient intake and can be restored using dental prosthetic treatments in patients with tooth loss. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between tooth loss and weight loss among the older adults and to evaluate the magnitude of its risk reduction by dental prosthetic treatment. Design: Three-year follow-up longitudinal study based on a self-reported questionnaire. Setting: Community-dwelling older adults in Japan. Participants: Adults aged 65 and older (n = 53,690). Measurements: We used >10% weight loss during follow-up, the number of remaining teeth, and the use of dental prostheses as the outcome variable, exposure variable, and mediator, respectively. We fitted the logistic regression model including possible confounders and calculated the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) of the controlled direct effect (CDE) at the level of use or nonuse of the dental prosthesis based on a causal mediation analysis framework. Additionally, we calculated the proportion eliminated by the dental prosthesis. Results: The mean age of participants was 72.6 years (1 SD = 5.5), and 47.4% were males. About 5.8% (n = 3132) of them experienced >10% weight loss during the follow-up. Weight loss was observed in 6.8% of the participants with 0–19 remaining teeth and in 4.3% of them with ≥20 remaining teeth. The CDE of 0–19 remaining teeth was greater when no one used dental prosthesis (OR = 1.41; 95% CI = 1.26–1.59) compared with that when all participants used dental prosthesis (OR = 1.26; 95% CI = 1.08–1.46). This indicated that dental prosthesis decreased the risk of weight loss by 37.3%. Conclusion: Our study revealed that tooth loss increased the risk of clinically critical levels of weight loss among community-dwelling older adults. However, this risk was reduced by dental prosthetic treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2498-2506
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep


  • causal mediation analysis
  • longitudinal study
  • nutrition
  • oral health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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