Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate the association between oral health status and central obesity (CO) in Brazilian independent-living elderly. A cross-sectional study was carried out in a sample of 489 elderly, who were participants of the Study on Aging and Longevity, in Londrina, state of Parana. The number of natural teeth and use of prostheses were evaluated according to the World Health Organization criteria. The presence of CO was assessed using measures of waist circumference (WC) and waist-hip ratio (WHR). Information concerning sociodemographic profile and some systemic conditions was also collected. Data were analyzed using stepwise logistic regression, α=5%. According to WC and WHR measures, the prevalence of central obesity was 79.3% and 76.1%, respectively. CO according to WC was not associated with oral status. Considering the WHR measure, the following oral conditions were associated to CO: having fewer natural teeth (OR = 2.61; 95%CI = 1.17–5.80), being edentulous and wearing both upper and lower complete dentures (OR = 2.34; 95%CI = 1.11–4.93), and being edentulous wearing only the upper complete denture (OR = 2.64; 95%CI = 1.01–6.95). Traditional risk factors for CO such as gender, dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes were associated with both measures. A poor oral health due to extensive tooth loss, whether partial or complete, even if rehabilitated by removable prostheses, may be considered a good predictor of CO in Brazilian independent-living elderly.