Overactive bladder (OAB) is associated with tooth loss and chronic inflammation, investigators reported at ICS 2020 Online, a virtual conference hosted by the International Continence Society.

Chronic periodontitis has been linked with metabolic syndrome, whereas metabolic syndrome (eg, diabetes, hypertension, obesity) has shown a relationship with OAB and other lower urinary tract symptoms, explained investigators Takayuki Matsuo, MD, and colleagues at Nagasaki University Hospital in Nagasaki, Japan. They conducted a study to see whether tooth loss correlates with OAB (Overactive Bladder Symptom Score [OABSS] of 2 or higher on question 3 (urgency) and a total score of 3 or more) and individual symptoms.

In their comparison of 232 adults who lost teeth due to chronic periodontitis, the OAB group had significantly fewer remaining teeth (12.8 vs 21.5; P <.001) and was significantly older (mean age 70.1 vs 65.7 years; P =.001) than the group without OAB. Analyses showed that having fewer teeth significantly correlated with total OABSS (r=-0.572; P <.001) as well as scores for daytime frequency (r=-0.416; P <.001), nighttime frequency (r=-0.525; P <.001), urinary urgency (r=-0.474; P <.001), and urgency incontinence (r=-0.290; P <.001). Having fewer remaining teeth also significantly associated with larger voided volume (r=0.303; P <.001) and maximum flow rate (r=0.219; P <.001), but not residual urine volume.

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Importantly, having higher serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels significantly related with tooth loss (r=-0.264; P <.001). Serum CRP significantly associated with total OABSS (r=0.270; P <.001) and each OABSS item with the exception of urgency incontinence: daytime frequency (r=0.152; P =.02), nighttime frequency (r=0.247; P <.001), urinary urgency (r=0.262; P <.001), and urgency incontinence (r=0.115; P =.08).

Multivariate analysis revealed that the number of lost teeth was an independent risk factor for OAB, with significant 8% increased odds.

OAB and its severity correlated with tooth loss and systemic, chronic inflammation, Dr Matsuo’s team concluded. They suggested future studies examine whether improving oral care can help prevent OAB. 


Matsuo T, Ohtsubo A, Mukae Y, et al. Association between tooth loss due to chronic periodontitis and overactive bladder. Presented at: ICS 2020 Online, November 19-22, 2020. Abstract 53.