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Study suggests dental prostheses affect cardiovascular health

By Dental Tribune International
June 30, 2013

BOSTON, Mass., USA/Kuopio, Finland: As a high number of teeth has been associated with higher survival rates in the past, researchers at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine examined the relationship between various types of dental prostheses and cardiovascular mortality. They found that not only the quantity but also the quality of teeth may influence the heart health of patients.

By studying the records of 256 individuals with diagnosed coronary artery disease and 250 controls with a mean age of 61, the researchers found that participants with both removable partial dentures and natural teeth had a higher survival rate 15 years after baseline examination compared with those who had all natural teeth. However, they also observed that people with partial and full dentures had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease mortality than those who had full dentures only or very few natural teeth.

The findings suggest that both the number of remaining teeth and their maintenance may positively affect cardiovascular survival by removing potential inflammatory foci, the researchers concluded. Good oral hygiene seems to be a key factor, they said.

The participants in this study were enrolled in the Kuopio Oral Health and Heart Study, which was conducted in Helsinki from 1995 to 1996.

The study, titled "Removable Dental Prostheses and Cardiovascular Survival: A 15-Year Follow-Up Study," was published online on June 13 in the Journal of Dentistry ahead of print.

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