The purpose of the present study was to investigate the association between the number of natural teeth and measures of kidney dysfunction, such as urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) and estimated glomerular filtration (eGFR) rate, using nationally representative data.
The data used were from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey with cross-sectional design, which was conducted between 2011 and 2012; the sample analyzed in this study consisted of a total of 10,388 respondents, each of whom was 19 years or older and had no missing outcome variables. The association between the number of natural teeth and kidney function was assessed by multiple logistic regression and model was adjusted for age, sex, waist conference, smoking, drinking, exercise, education, income, frequency of tooth brushing per day, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, urinary ACR, and eGFR.
The mean age, body mass index, and waist circumference were significantly higher among those with lower kidney function (urinary ACR ≥30 mg/g and eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73m 2). Urinary ACR and eGFR were associated with loss of natural teeth. As urinary ACR increased, the number of natural teeth decreased accordingly. Conversely, the number of natural teeth increased with an increase in eGFR.
This study showed that the number of natural teeth is inversely associated with the presence of kidney disease. Severity of tooth loss may be considered an independent risk indicator for kidney disease among Koreans. More epidemiological studies are warranted to investigate the role of tooth loss in kidney disease, to confirm this relationship and to test possible underlying mechanisms.