According to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology Middle East Conference 2019 together with the 10th Emirates Cardiac Society Congress, tooth loss is an indicator of elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. As the association between heart disease and oral disease is not well known, the researchers conducted a secondary analysis of the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System. This looked at tooth loss not caused by trauma as well as cardiovascular disease, including heart attack, angina, and stroke.
The study included 316,588 participants from the United States that were between the ages of 40–79. The research showed that eight percent had no teeth and 13 percent had cardiovascular disease. The percentage of people who had cardiovascular disease and were missing teeth was 28 percent, compared to only seven percent who had cardiovascular disease but did not have missing teeth.
Any Number of Teeth Missing
In addition to participants who had no teeth, those who reported having one to six teeth missing were more also more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. This was also evident after adjusting for factors such as age, race, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, dental visits, and diabetes.
“Our results support that there is a relationship between dental health and cardiovascular health,” said Hamad Mohammed Qabha, MBBS, lead author of the study and Chief Medical and Surgical Intern at Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University. “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.”
Oral disease could be a factor in many older adults losing teeth. It is an inflammatory disease that frequently causes tooth loss due to the breakdown of periodontal tissue.
Cardiovascular disease is currently the number one cause of death in men and women in the United States. As studies now link cardiovascular disease and oral disease, more research needs to be done so health care professionals can help patients take the necessary precautions for the disease.