Inflammation from chronic bacterial infections is a suspected risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Therefore it is of interest that more frequent teeth cleaning might cut heart disease and stroke risk.
Professional tooth scaling was associated with fewer heart attacks and strokes in a study (Abstract 17704) from Taiwan presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011.
Among more than 100,000 people, those who had their teeth scraped and cleaned (tooth scaling) by a dentist or dental hygienist had a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack and 13 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who had never had a dental cleaning. The participants were followed for an average of seven years.
Scientists considered tooth scaling frequent if it occurred at least twice or more in two years; occasional tooth scaling was once or less in two years.
The study included more than 51,000 adults who had received at least one full or partial tooth scaling and a similar number of people matched with gender and health conditions who had no tooth scaling. None of the participants had a history of heart attack or stroke at the beginning of the study.
Getting your teeth cleaned regularly is a good idea anyway since it cuts the risk of loss of teeth and avoids the development of an interest in TV commercials about dentures.
A separate study found a big difference in heart and stroke risk based on the number of remaining teeth.
In a separate study (abstract 10576), researchers found that the value of markers for gum disease predict heart attack, congestive heart failure and stroke in different ways and to different degrees.
Anders Holmlund, D.D.S., Ph.D. Centre for Research and Development of the County Council of Gävleborg, Sweden, and senior consultant; Specialized Dentistry, studied 7,999 participants with periodontal disease and found people with:
- Fewer than 21 teeth had a 69 percent increased risk of heart attack compared to those with the most teeth.
- A higher number of deepened periodontal pockets (infection of the gum around the base of the tooth) had a 53 percent increased risk of heart attack compared to those with the fewest pockets.
- The least amount of teeth had a 2.5 increased risk of congestive heart failure compared to those with the most teeth.
- The highest incidence of gum bleeding had a 2.1 increased risk of stroke compared to those with the lowest incidence.
Haven't gotten your teeth cleaned lately? Time to make an appointment. Also, get out that floss and use it.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2011 November 13 08:19 PM Aging Cardiovascular Studies|