Background: Results from numerous studies have suggested links between periodontal disease and coronary heart disease (CHD), but endodontic disease has not been studied extensively in this regard.
Methods: The authors evaluated the relationship between self-reported history of endodontic therapy (ET) and prevalent CHD in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, aprospective epidemiologic study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The authors used multivariable logistic regressionto analyze data obtained from oral health questionnaires, medical evaluations and clinical dental examinations.
Results: Of 6,651 participants analyzed, 50.4 percent reported never having had ET; 21.5 percent reported having had ET one time; and 28.0 percent reported having had ET two or more times. Final multivariable regression models indicated that among participants with 25 or more teeth, those reporting having had ET two or more times had 1.62 (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.04-2.53) times the odds of prevalent CHD compared with those reporting never having had ET. Among participants with 24 or fewer teeth, no significant differences in CHD prevalence were observed among groups regardless of their history of ET.
Conclusions: Among participants with 25 or more teeth, those with a greater self-reported history of ET were more likely to have CHD than were those reporting no history of ET.
Clinical implications: More accurate epidemiologic quantification of endodontic infection and inflammation is required before definitive conclusions can be made about potential relationships between endodontic disease and CHD.