Background: During the past 15 years, mounting evidence for the association between periodontal and cardiovascular disease has been presented in epidemiological studies. The aim of this study was to investigate how the severity of periodontal disease and number of remaining teeth relates to myocardial infarction (MI) and hypertension (HT).
Methods: Self-reported history of HT and MI was collected in 3,352 patients referred to the Department of Periodontology, Gävle County Hospital, and in 902 subjects randomly selected from the general population. Severity of periodontitis was estimated by a combination of the amount of bone loss around each tooth investigated from a full-mouth x-ray, the presence or absence of bleeding on probing (BOP), and involvement of furcations.
Results: The severity of periodontitis was significantly associated with HT (prevalence 16%; P<0.0005), even after adjustment for age, gender, number of teeth, and smoking in the total sample, and with MI (prevalence 1.7%, P<0.03) after above-mentioned adjustments, but in middle-aged (40 to 60 years) subjects only. The number of diseased periodontal pockets was related to HT only (P<0.0001), and this relationship remained after the above-mentioned adjustments. The number of teeth was associated with MI (P<0.03) even after correction for age, gender, and smoking but was not related to hypertension.
Conclusions: The severity of periodontal disease was related to HT independent of age but to the prevalence of MI in middle-aged subjects only. The number of diseased pockets was significantly related to HT only. On the other hand, the number of teeth was associated with the prevalence of MI independent of age but not to HT. These data support the view that oral health is related to cardiovascular disease in a dose-dependent manner.