Study links endodontic disease with heart disease

A study published in this month's Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that endodontic disease may increase a person's risk of heart disease.

The retrospective multicenter study found a correlation between people who reported having had endodontic therapy and those who had coronary heart disease (JADA, August 2009, Vol. 140:8, pp. 1004-1012).

Numerous studies have shown that periodontal disease contributes to the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many other illnesses. Though the connection is not fully understood, several researchers have proposed that inflammation triggered by periodontal bacteria affects other systems.

Since similar bacteria inflame endodontic tissue, investigators in the current study wondered if they might also affect patients' cardiovascular health.

Analyzing data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study sponsored by the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, the investigators tested the correlation between patients who said they had had endodontic treatment and those who had experienced coronary heart disease.

They found that among participants with 25 or more teeth, those who reported having had endodontic treatment twice or more had 1.62 times (95% confidence interval 1.04-2.53) the odds of prevalent heart disease as those who never had endodontic treatment.

They theorized that those with 24 or fewer teeth might have had many extracted for reasons other than caries, and as a result these groups did not experience the inflammation that affected heart disease risk.

They acknowledged several weaknesses in the study, such as the unreliability of the patient's recollections about endodontic therapy. The investigators had no access to the patients' dental radiographs.

Copyright © 2009

Page 1 of 177
Next Page