People with fewer teeth prone to die of heart disease: study

Apr 12, 2010

People with dented smiles run a far greater risk of dying of heart disease than those who still have all their pearly whites, a Swedish researcher said Monday.

" and in particular is closely related to the number of " that a person has left, Anders Holmlund told AFP, explaining the results of a Swedish study to be published in the Journal of Periodontology.

"A person with fewer than 10 of their own teeth has a seven times higher risk for death by coronary heart disease than a person of the same age and of the same sex with more than 25 teeth left," Holmlund said.

Although many studies published in the past 15 years have showed a link between oral health and cardiovascular disease, Holmlund's study shows a direct relationship between cardiovascular disease and the number of teeth in a person's mouth.

The study, conducted with colleagues Gunnar Holm and Lars Lind, surveyed 7,674 women and men, most suffering from , for an average of 12 years, and examined the cause of death of the 629 people who died during the period.

For 299 of the subjects, the cause of death was cardiovascular disease.

The theory connecting teeth numbers and heart disease, Holmlund explained, maintains that "infections in the mouth and around the teeth can spill over to the systemic circulation system and cause a low graded chronic inflammation," which is known to be a risk factor for heart attacks and other cardiovascular episodes.

The number of natural teeth a person had left "could reflect how much one has been exposed to in a lifetime," he added.

The study had been limited by the fact that it had not been possible to adjust the results for socio-economic factors and to fully adjust them according to other cardiovascular risk factors, he acknowledged.

is the number one killer worldwide, claiming upward of 17 million lives every year according to the World Health Organisation.

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User comments : 8

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not rated yet Apr 12, 2010
I do not think it should be taken as a surprise that people who take better care of their teeth have fewer health problems... They don't just take better care of their teeth. I am disappoint. These things are a given.
not rated yet Apr 12, 2010
It's true, and here's why.

Lots of people research parts of the human body, but they rarely take the body as a whole and search for underlying common denominators.

Thats the failure of conventional medicine.
not rated yet Apr 12, 2010
Would seem to me that people who suffer from dental issues would benefit from getting false teeth therby removing the cronic inflamation connection... any thoughts?
not rated yet Apr 12, 2010
A couple, It's better to fix the problem than remove parts of the body.
Of course you can pull all the teeth but that doesn't remove the bacteria.
You can't just remove a faulty heart!!!
not rated yet Apr 13, 2010
I do not think it should be taken as a surprise that people who take better care of their teeth have fewer health problems... They don't just take better care of their teeth. I am disappoint. These things are a given.

I agree. This could easily be correlation without causation and I was expecting evidence to prove otherwise. The article gave no indication that they had investigated possible correlations with dental hygiene and other personal hygiene factors which might have a direct effect on heart disease, such as eating habits. It seems obvious to me that poor dental health might be related to poor dieting habits.
not rated yet Apr 13, 2010
I lost 4 teeth when a drunk driver slammed into the car I was in. People lose teeth for more reasons than bad hygiene. The report does not seem to address that.
not rated yet Apr 13, 2010
Quote: Of course you can pull all the teeth but that doesn't remove the bacteria.
Answer: Exactly WHAT is LEFT to allow this bacteria to flourish .. ?
IF a person is to believe what the doctors say .. they say the teeth BREED the bacteria and THEN the bacteria TRAVEL to CAUSE the heart disease. Soooo theoretically CONTRARY to what you say .. scientists seem to believe it IS the teeth and therefore removal JUST MAY prevent the oncoming bacterial CAUSED heart disease.
That is using logic and science.

Quote: You can't just remove a faulty heart!!!
Answer: IF that was the cause but some scientists don't believe THAT / heart to BE the CAUSE but bacteria FROM the teeth to be THE "cause" .
Imho ..
not rated yet Apr 13, 2010
Dental health insurance plays a large part of this. Can afford a heart transplant with my health insurance, can't afford a cap with my dental. So my teeth go first.

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