Is Tooth Loss in Middle Age Linked to Cardiovascular Disease?

is tooth loss in middle age linked to cardiovascular disease

A US study reveals that losing natural teeth in middle age might indicate an increased risk for heart disease. The study found that a mid-aged adult who started losing teeth in the recent past is at more risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Lu Qi from the Tulane University, New Orleans, reported Reuters Health that the relation between tooth loss and heart disease is not clear yet. Earlier research only studied preexisting tooth loss, and very little is known about if tooth loss in middle age is linked to future heart disease.

The research team evaluated data of men and women who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) and the Nurses’ Health Study. The participants aged 45-69 did not suffer from any heart disease. They were questioned about the number of teeth first in 1986 for HPFS and then in 1992 for NHS. In the questionnaires, they reported if they suffered from any tooth loss recently.

It was observed from the study that

  • Among the participants who had 25-32 teeth at the start of the study, the adults losing 2 or more teeth at the time of follow-up showed a 23% increase in the risk of developing heart diseases as compared to people who did not lose any teeth. This increased risk was found correct after adjusting with their body weight, quality of diet, physical activity, hypertension, and other heart disease risk factors.
  • Volunteers who lost 1 tooth during the follow-up was not associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • Without considering the number of teeth at the beginning of the study, the overall cardiovascular disease risk increased 16% among the volunteers who lost two or more than two teeth as compared to participants who did not lose any teeth.
  • Adults having less than seventeen natural teeth against those having 25-32 teeth at the beginning of the study, have 25% more chances of developing cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Russell Luepker, an AHA spokesperson, says that the adults who are suffering from Periodontitis and gingivitis lose their tooth which clearly indicates the last end-stage dental disease. He said in a telephonic interview that the relation between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease are modest.