Objectives: This paper evaluates the relation of tooth loss to incidence of coronary heart disease in two large cohort studies.
Methods: Participants included 41,407 men and 58,974 women free of any cardiovascular diseases at baseline. We recorded 1,654 incident coronary heart disease events (562 fatal events) among men during 12 years of follow-up and 544 events (158 fatal events) among women during 6 years of follow-up.
Results: After controlling for important cardiovascular risk factors, compared to men with 25-32 teeth at baseline, men with 0-10 teeth had a significantly higher risk of coronary heart disease (relative risk [RR]= 1.36; 95 percent confidence interval [CI]=1.11, 1.67). The relative risk increased to 1.79 (95% CI=1.34, 2.40) when limited to fatal events. Women with 0-10 teeth were also at increased risk of coronary heart disease compared to women with 25-32 teeth (RR=1.64; 95% CI=1.31, 2.05). The association was similar for fatal events (RR= 1.65; 95% CI=1.11, 2.46). The association between number of teeth and incidence of coronary heart disease was similar between men with and without a history of periodontal disease, and there was no significant association between tooth loss during follow-up and coronary heart disease.
Conclusions: This study showed a significant association between number of teeth at baseline and risk of coronary heart disease and the mechanisms to explain this association should be further clarified.