Bellingham Dentist

Tooth Loss During Middle Age: A Cardiovascular Risk

New Study Proves the Connection

Studies have shown that dental health problems, like periodontal disease, are related to inflammation, diabetes, smoking and a not-so-healthy diet, according to a study, out of the department of epidemiology at Tulane University in New Orleans. Previous research has pointed out that there’s an association between dental issues and cardiovascular disease risk. If you had dental issues which eventually led to loss of teeth, it equates with an increased risk of this type of health problem.

However, most of that research looked at cumulative tooth loss over a lifetime, starting as early as childhood tooth loss. It is the tooth loss in middle age that’s more likely related to inflammation, but it hasn’t been clear how this later-in-life tooth loss might influence cardiovascular disease risk.

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health collaborated in this new study analyzing the impact of tooth loss in large studies of adults, aged 45 to 69 years. Participant recorded their number of natural teeth at the onset with a follow-up of reported recent tooth loss. They didn’t have cardiovascular disease at the beginning. Researchers followed up in the next 8 years, afterwards followed an incidence of cardiovascular disease among those with no tooth loss, with one tooth lost, and two or more teeth lost over 12-18 years.

Cardiovascular disease risk among all those studied (regardless of the number of natural teeth) increased among those losing two or more teeth during the study period, compared to those who didn’t lose any teeth. Those with less than 17 natural teeth at the beginning were 25% more likely to have cardiovascular disease.

With the knowledge that tooth loss in middle age can signal elevated cardiovascular disease risk, adults can take steps to reduce the increased risk early on. Regular dental visits should be a crucial practise by younger adults in order to spot potential issues. Oral hygiene is also integral to preservation of one’s dentition.

Early Tooth Preservation in Bellingham

As early as possible, have your oral health overseen by your trusted dental experts here at Dr. Tetrick’s in Bellingham. Reduce your chances of tooth loss early and lessen your risk for cardiovascular disease.