Missing Teeth Predict Incident Cardiovascular Events, Diabetes, and Death

Liljestrand, J.M.; Havulinna, A.S.; Paju, S.; Männistö, S.; Salomaa, V.; Pussinen, P.J.
August 2015
Journal of Dental Research;Aug2015, Vol. 94 Issue 8, p1055
Academic Journal
Periodontitis, the main cause of tooth loss in the middle-aged and elderly, associates with the risk of atherosclerotic vascular disease. The objective was to study the capability of the number of missing teeth in predicting incident cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), diabetes, and all-cause death. The National FINRISK 1997 Study is a Finnish population–based survey of 8,446 subjects with 13 y of follow-up. Dental status was recorded at baseline in a clinical examination by a trained nurse, and information on incident CVD events, diabetes, and death was obtained via national registers. The registered CVD events included coronary heart disease events, acute myocardial infarction, and stroke. In Cox regression analyses, having ≥5 teeth missing was associated with 60% to 140% increased hazard for incident coronary heart disease events (P < 0.020) and acute myocardial infarction (P < 0.010). Incident CVD (P < 0.043), diabetes (P < 0.040), and death of any cause (P < 0.019) were associated with ≥9 missing teeth. No association with stroke was observed. Adding information on missing teeth to established risk factors improved risk discrimination of death (P = 0.0128) and provided a statistically significant net reclassification improvement for all studied end points. Even a few missing teeth may indicate an increased risk of CVD, diabetes, or all-cause mortality. When individual risk factors for chronic diseases are assessed, the number of missing teeth could be a useful additional indicator for general medical practitioners.


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