Midlife Dental Health Now Critical in Assessing Cardiovascular Conditions

Heart disease and tooth loss

Cardiovascular illness has, for a long time, affected thousands worldwide and also claimed lives, but with current studies and innovations, researchers are looking for more ways to curb this dreaded disease.

In 2018, a team of researchers brought to light new information regarding a relationship between tooth loss and cardiovascular disease.

Putting aside the usual health factors such as inflammation and blood pressure, harmful smoking, and high body cholesterol levels, tooth loss on its own is able to increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions, particularly in middle-aged individuals. This finding makes it clear that physicians should not neglect the oral health of their patients when working with them to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

During the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2018 Scientific Sessions on Epidemiology and Prevention/ Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health conference, the team of researchers made a presentation on the relationship between teeth loss and cardiovascular conditions. The eight-year study performed on individuals 45-69 years old, found a significant increase (16%) in the chance of developing heart disease in those who had lost two or more teeth over the course of the study, regardless of factors such as hitting the gym, maintaining a balanced diet and reducing body fats.

The risk factors were also dependent on the number of teeth the participant started with. Of the patients losing two or more teeth, those with 25 to 32 teeth at the start had a 23% increase in risk while those starting with 17 or fewer teeth had 25%.

In comparison, participants who lost fewer than two teeth did not see the same increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Armed with this new information, we expect patients should be further assured of the need to take good care of their teeth. Remember to brush and floss regularly, go for checkups with Dr. Nichols, keep an eye on your cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels and live a life free from smoking.