To evaluate pattern of change in periodontal variables and tooth loss in a twelve-year follow-up study of older adults living in Sweden. In a prospective population study of older adults, a clinical examination and radiographic dental examination were performed at baseline (2001-2003) and after 12 years (2013-2015). In 375 individuals, the number and proportion of sites with a distance ≥4 mm and ≥5 mm from cemento-enamel junction to the bone level, the number and proportion of teeth with pockets ≥5 mm and number of teeth lost were calculated. Dental caries was registered. Periodontitis was defined as having ≥2 sites with ≥5 mm distance from cemento-enamel junction to the marginal bone level and ≥1 tooth with pockets ≥5 mm. A diagnosis of periodontitis was evident in 39% of the individuals, and 23% of the individuals lost ≥3 teeth over the study period. The proportion of sites with ≥4 mm and ≥5 mm bone loss increased with age, while the proportion of teeth with pockets remained stable. Periodontitis was the strongest predictor for losing ≥3 teeth, OR 2.9 (p < .001) in the final model. Periodontitis is a risk factor for future tooth loss among older adults. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.