Professional dental cleanings may reduce risk of heart attack, stroke

November 13, 2011, American Heart Association

Professional tooth scaling was associated with fewer heart attacks and strokes in a study (Abstract 17704) from Taiwan presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011.

Among more than 100,000 people, those who had their teeth scraped and cleaned (tooth scaling) by a or had a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack and 13 percent lower risk of compared to those who had never had a dental cleaning. The participants were followed for an average of seven years.

Scientists considered tooth scaling frequent if it occurred at least twice or more in two years; occasional tooth scaling was once or less in two years.

The study included more than 51,000 adults who had received at least one full or partial tooth scaling and a similar number of people matched with gender and who had no tooth scaling. None of the participants had a history of heart attack or stroke at the beginning of the study.

The study didn't adjust for heart attack and — such as weight, smoking and race — that weren't included in the Taiwan National Health insurance data base, the source of the information used in the analysis.

"Protection from heart disease and stroke was more pronounced in participants who got tooth scaling at least once a year," said Emily (Zu-Yin) Chen, M.D., cardiology fellow at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan.

Professional tooth scaling appears to reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth that can lead to heart disease or stroke, she said.

Hsin-Bang Leu M.D., is the study co-author. Author disclosures and funding are on the abstract.

Type of periodontal disease predicts degree of risk for heart attack, stroke, and heart failure

In a separate study (abstract 10576), researchers found that the value of markers for gum disease predict heart attack, congestive heart failure and stroke in different ways and to different degrees.

Anders Holmlund, D.D.S., Ph.D. Centre for Research and Development of the County Council of Gävleborg, Sweden, and senior consultant; Specialized Dentistry, studied 7,999 participants with periodontal disease and found people with:

-- Fewer than 21 teeth had a 69 percent increased compared to those with the most teeth.
-- A higher number of deepened periodontal pockets (infection of the gum around the base of the tooth) had a 53 percent increased risk of compared to those with the fewest pockets.
-- The least amount of teeth had a 2.5 increased risk of congestive heart failure compared to those with the most teeth.
-- The highest incidence of gum bleeding had a 2.1 increased risk of stroke compared to those with the lowest incidence.

Explore further: Genes play greater role in heart attacks than stroke: study

Related Stories

Genes play greater role in heart attacks than stroke: study

July 26, 2011
People are significantly more likely to inherit a predisposition to heart attack than to stroke, according to research reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, an American Heart Association journal.

Recommended for you

Painless dental lasers can render teeth cavity-resistant

November 21, 2017
Almost as soon as lasers were invented in the 1960s, curious dentists wondered if these powerful forms of light could be used on teeth, though those early lasers were much too crude for any useful dental work.

Nanodiamonds show promise for aiding recovery from root canal

October 23, 2017
People who undergo root canals may soon have a tiny but powerful ally that could prevent infection after treatment.

Research shows aspirin could repair tooth decay

September 8, 2017
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have discovered that aspirin could reverse the effects of tooth decay resulting in a reduction in the need for fillings. Currently about 7 million fillings are provided by the NHS ...

New dental imaging method uses squid ink to fish for gum disease

September 7, 2017
Squid ink might be a great ingredient to make black pasta, but it could also one day make getting checked for gum disease at the dentist less tedious and even painless. By combining squid ink with light and ultrasound, a ...

A new dental restoration composite proves more durable than the conventional material

August 21, 2017
Fewer trips to the dentist may be in your future, and you have mussels to thank.

Small molecule inhibitor prevents or impedes tooth cavities in a preclinical model

August 10, 2017
University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have created a small molecule that prevents or impedes tooth cavities in a preclinical model. The inhibitor blocks the function of a key virulence enzyme in an oral bacterium, ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

4 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2011
Correlation is not causation. People do not just "accidentally" have Professional tooth scaling or not. Scaling costs money so those having it are a different group than those not receiving it--they are people prepared to pay for better teeth--and possibly prepared to have more healthy lives in other ways that might lower their risk of heart disease. Similarly with dental decay and the number of teeth people have--these are not random happenings but link to general health behavior and this not dental health might underlie heart disease risk.
3 / 5 (2) Nov 13, 2011
The real story here is WHY do people HAVE to have 'root scaling'. What did peope do before the advent of the medical profession ? The government in their ignorance adds a substance to our foods which CAUSES this problem. The government adds the metal iron to all our floured foods and iron is KNOWN to feed bacteria and cause plaque. They are now using an iron chelator to fight this. Phytate.
"Anticalculus effect of a triclosan mouthwash containing phytate"
3 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2011
This article is an ABSOLUTE LIE, and not scientific by any sense of the imagination whatsoever. Asbolutely false claims here. I could explain the reason in detail, however space limits my elaboration on the topic. I will say, however, that to believe this nonsense is foolish because; 1) many people of antiquity have survived in excess of 100 years without the benefit of modern so-called 'dentistry', 2) Bacteria in the bloodstream, from whatever source, are quickly destroyed by white blood cells in the healthy human, 3) Dentists benefit financially from such claims, and 4) ALL of my great grandparents lived beyond 90, with no benefit of 'dental care' whatsoever, and NONE of them suffered heart disease or stroke. I believe this claim to be complete BS and I personally believe that modern dentistry does far more harm than good; spreading diseases such as HIV, radiation poisoning from x-ray exposure, mercury poisoning (now no longer used in fillings due to the health hazards), etc.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.