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Tooth Loss Linked to Cardiovascular Risk in New Study

North Bend family dentist

As your North Bend family dentist, Dr. Lori Lemire has worked to educate patients on the need to maintain quality oral health.

In our blog, we’ve extensively covered the connection between our oral and overall health. Numerous studies have found surprising connections between common oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease and a range of chronic problems involving the heart, joints, and brain.

Now, a new study has shown that U.S. adults with no remaining natural teeth have a significantly higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S., when compared to patients who have all of their teeth remaining.

Researchers discovered that patients with no teeth were 80 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Even missing just a few teeth represented a higher risk for heart problems, according to the study’s findings.

The results of this study were shared at the 2019 American College of Cardiology (ACC) Middle East Conference.

Identifying the Connection

Led by researchers at Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, the study sought to examine the relationship between cardiovascular and oral health due to the lack of consensus about the link between oral disease and cardiovascular disease.

The study utilized data collected as part of the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which involves the use of telephone surveys to obtain information about U.S. residents aged 18 and older and any health-related risk behaviors they might engage in regularly.

An earlier Swedish study found that when examined under the context of permanent teeth remaining, a patient’s oral health was related to their risk of myocardial infarction and heart failure but not to stroke, suggesting that oral health does not appear to relate to all major cardiovascular illnesses.

In their study, researchers closely looked at the link between nontraumatic tooth loss – tooth loss that occurs as the results of dental decay or disease – and cardiovascular disease, which included stroke, angina, and/or heart attack. The study involved over 316,000 participants living in the U.S. between the ages of 40 to 79.

Roughly 52 percent of the study participants were female.

Of all of the study participants, 8 percent had no remaining permanent teeth and 13 percent had cardiovascular disease. The percentage of participants who had both no remaining teeth and cardiovascular disease was 28 percent, while just 7 percent of those with all of their teeth had cardiovascular disease.

Researchers then completed a statistical analysis to determine the odds ratio (OR) for the link between tooth loss and cardiovascular disease. They discovered that the odds ratio for cardiovascular disease increases along with the number of missing teeth.

In other words, the more teeth a patient has missing the higher their risk for cardiovascular disease becomes.

Protecting Your Heart Health Starts with Your North Bend Family Dentist

The results of this latest study once again show how our oral health really does act like a barometer for our overall health.

Whether cardiovascular disease or a risk for dementia, diabetes, or cancer, clearly the state of our teeth and gums matter to more than just our smiles.

As your North Bend family dentist, Dr. Lori Lemire can successfully prevent the development of tooth decay and gum disease that leads to permanent tooth loss.

By scheduling regular exams and cleanings, Dr. Lemire can spot the early signs of the types of oral health problems that lead to permanent damage occurring, and provide the kind of advanced care needed to help your body properly recover.

Even though brushing and flossing remain the most effective habits you can practice daily for promoting better oral health, regular dental care still plays a significant role and shouldn’t be overlooked.

A healthy body needs a healthy smile. Don’t neglect yours. Schedule your next cleaning and oral exam with Dr. Lori Lemire today.

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