In the 15-year follow-up study, Sok-Ja Janket, DMD, from Boston University and colleagues analyzed the effect of dental prostheses such as caps or dentures on cardiovascular health.
The researchers used baseline data from the Kuopio Oral Health and Heart study in Finland, which was initiated in 1995-1996, and appended mortality data during the span of the next 15 years to create a longitudinal study.
The aims of the study included the following:
- Whether various removable dental prostheses have a different relationship with CVD mortality
- Whether removable dental prostheses are correlated with a variety of inflammatory foci in the oral cavity
- Whether removable dental prostheses accompany candida or streptococcal infections
The researchers compared the cardiovascular survival among four groups divided according to various combinations of natural, fixed, or removable prosthetic dentitions. They found that the group with both natural teeth and partial dentures had better survival than the group with all natural teeth, though the results were not statistically significant. In addition, the group with partial and full dentures had a higher risk of CVD mortality than those who had full dentures only or with few natural teeth.
In short, they found that quality, not just quantity, of teeth appears to influence cardiac survival.
The researchers concluded that good oral hygiene is a key factor, which includes removing potential inflammatory foci, such as pericoronitis or retained root tips, and restoring broken fillings that may cause mucositis. All of these less invasive oral maintenance techniques may affect cardiovascular survival.
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