Saturday, November 5, 2011

How large of an effect does dental disease have on heart disease

How large of an effect does dental disease have on heart disease
In a paper published in J Am Dent Assoc 1998 Mar;129(3):301-11 Dr Walter Loesche from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, wrote

"Several recent studies have shown a link between dental disease and coronary heart disease. The authors studied 320 U.S. veterans in a convenience sample to assess the relationship between oral health and systemic diseases among older people. They present cross-sectional data confirming that a statistically significant association exists between a diagnosis of coronary heart disease and certain oral health parameters, such as the number of missing teeth, plaque benzoyl-DL-arginine-naphthylamide test scores, salivary levels of Streptococcus sanguis and complaints of xerostomia. The oral parameters in these subjects were independent of and more strongly associated with coronary heart disease than were recognized risk factors, such as serum cholesterol levels, body mass index, diabetes and smoking status. However, because of the convenience sample studied, these findings cannot be generalized to other populations. "
To translate this article, in this study dental disease was a larger risk factor for heart disease than being overweight, having a high cholesterol level, not exercising or smoking. Click here to see the abstract of the paper. Read more...

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