Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Sakura Kiuchi

Assistant ProfessorHuman and Society

Mentor Information
Ken Osaka (School of Dentistry)
Research Fields Preventive dentistry, Public health
Research Subjects
  • Relationship between Oral Status and Cognitive Function
  • Social determinants of oral health
Academic Society Membership Japanese Society of Public Health, The Japanese Society for Oral health, Japan Epidemiological Association, The International Association for Dental Research
Research Outline  

Oral diseases are highly prevalent among 3.5 billion people worldwide. Focusing on the importance of oral health with a large burden, I have researched the relationship between oral health and general health, especially cognitive function, using large-scale questionnaires and medical data.

Previous studies found the relationship between oral health and dementia; however, the overall mechanism has been still unclear. Some studies have suggested possible mechanisms such as the effects of inflammation caused by periodontal disease, decreased cerebral blood flow due to low occlusal stimulation, and nutritional deficiency. In addition, poor oral condition may lead to reduced social activity due to difficulty in speaking, smiling, and eating the same foods as others. Therefore, the social pathways currently have been focused on. I revealed the partial pathways of social and nutritional pathways between oral health and dementia using large-scale Japanese cohort data from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES).

In FRIS, I would like to investigate what kind of people with oral conditions could lead to cognitive impairment using causal inference methods, machine learning, and conventional statistical analysis methods. Through this research, I will try to elucidate the mechanism of the relationship between oral status and cognitive function and aimed to build a healthy society to prevent the progression of dementia and reduce the burden of healthcare costs from oral health.

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