New Study Confirms Association Between Depressed Mood and Chronic Periodontitis in Older Adults

A new study conducted in Seoul has been published to the American Academy of Periodontology’s academic journal: Journal of Periodontology

CHICAGO – June 26, 2023 – Previous periodontal research has repeatedly connected periodontitis to other health risks. Recently, new research by Dr. Yu-Rin Kim, Dr. Minkook Son, and Dr. Seoul-Nee Ham published in the American Academy of Periodontology’s (AAP) academic journal: Journal of Periodontology (JOP) found another association—this time between chronic periodontitis and depressed mood.

Using data from the Life-changing Period Health Checkup (2007-2008), made available by the National Health Insurance Service-Senior Cohort Database, the team of researchers investigated the association between depressed mood and chronic periodontitis in a population of 18,713 older adults in Korea. The researchers evaluated the depressed mood status of participants based on three questions and divided the participants into two groups: depressed mood subjects (DMS) and non-depressed mood subjects (NDMS). Performing multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analysis and presenting odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), the researchers ultimately found a connection between depressed mood and chronic periodontitis in older adults.

The study highlights the need for increased education on the link between oral health and mental health through policy development for programs that support the improvement of both. The researchers believe this “would play an auxiliary in preventing and treating periodontitis. Management of depressive emotions in terms of preventing their occurrence should be evaluated and considered. It is suggested that periodontitis can be managed more efficiently through policy development that links oral and mental health improvement programs.”

AAP President Dr. David Okano states, “We as periodontal professionals must continue to emphasize the perio-systemic link. As more research is conducted, healthcare professionals will continue to gain a better understanding of the connection between dental health and overall health. This is an important step toward the goal of a team approach to patient healthcare.”

Read the JOP article here for more information regarding data, results, and findings.


About the American Academy of Periodontology 
The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) represents nearly 7,500 periodontists—specialists in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of inflammatory diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontics is one of 12 dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.