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STUDY: Watch your teeth
JOURNAL: Stroke, August 1, 2003
AUTHORS: Dr. Moise Desvarieux
ABSTRACT: Previous studies have linked tooth loss with cardiovascular disease, but now, new findings indicate that it also occurs more often in people who have a build-up of cholesterol plaque in their arteries (atherosclerosis), but who don't have symptoms.
COMMENTARY: In the Oral Infections and Vascular Disease Epidemiology Study (INVEST), Dr. Moise Desvarieux, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues evaluated periodontal disease, tooth loss, and plaque in the arteries of the neck in 711 subjects.
The subjects were 66 years of age, on average, and none had a history of stroke or heart attack. The severity of periodontitis was directly related to tooth loss.
In addition, the presence of plaque in the neck arteries was significantly associated with the extent of tooth loss. For example, 46% of subjects missing 9 or fewer teeth had such plaques, compared with about 60% of subjects missing 10 or more teeth.
However, plaques were actually less common among people missing 20 or more teeth than among those missing 10 to 19 teeth.