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Vol. 71, No. 2
ISSN: 1488-2159
February 2005


Does Dental Disease Hurt Your Heart?


• Sara C. Gordon, BSc, BA, DDS, MSc, FRCD(C) •
• Andrei Barasch, BA, DMD, MDSc •
• W. Choong Foong, BSc (Hons), PhD •
• Ahmed K. ElGeneidy, BDS, DOS, MScD, DScD, DDS, FDSRCS •
• Monika M. Safford, BA, MD •

A b s t r a c t

Recent research has yielded conflicting data regarding the relationship between dental disease, particularly periodontitis, and cardiovascular disease. A causative relationship would have major ramifications for health care. There is a plausible theoretical basis for such a link, as increased levels of inflammatory mediators may increase the risk of atherosclerotic plaque formation.

Nevertheless, a clinical confirmation of a causative relationship has been difficult, in part because cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease share common risk factors such as increasing age and tobacco use, and because cardiovascular medications may increase the risk of periodontitis. Patients should be encouraged to control documented risk factors for cardiovascular disease and to maintain oral health for its well-known health benefits.


MeSH Key Words: coronary disease/epidemiology; focal infection, dental/complications; periodontitis/epidemiology; risk factors
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