Tooth loss linked to higher risk of heart disease

In a new study, researchers found adults who have lost teeth due to non-traumatic reasons may have a higher risk of developing heart disease.

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death of men and women in the United States, and previous studies have linked heart disease with oral disease.

Oral disease is an inflammatory disease that frequently causes tooth loss due to the breakdown of periodontal tissue.

The causal association between oral disease and heart disease is not well known, so researchers in this study conducted a secondary analysis of the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System.

They looked at tooth loss not caused by trauma, as well as heart disease, including heart attack, angina and/or stroke.

The study included 316,588 participants from the United States and territories between the ages of 40-79.

Overall 8% were edentulous (had no teeth) and 13% had heart disease.

The percentage of people who had heart disease and were edentulous was 28%, compared to only 7% who had heart disease but did not have missing teeth.

In addition to edentulous participants, those who reported having one to five missing teeth or six or more, but not all, missing teeth were also more likely to develop heart disease.

The results support that there is a relationship between dental health and heart health.

The team says if a person’s teeth fall out, there may be other underlying health concerns.

Clinicians should be recommending that people in this age group receive adequate oral health care to prevent the diseases that lead to tooth loss in the first place and as potentially another way of reducing risk of future cardiovascular disease.

The lead author of the study is Hamad Mohammed Qabha, MBBS.

The study was presented at the American College of Cardiology Middle East Conference 2019.

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