Background: Poor oral health is an independent predictor of cardiovascular outcome. Endothelial dysfunction is the initial step of atherosclerosis, resulting in cardiovascular outcomes; but there is no information on the association between oral health and endothelial function. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between oral health and endothelial function.
Methods and results: A total of 190 subjects who underwent health examinations (mean age, 57±18 years), including patients with cardiovascular disease, completed a questionnaire on oral health and frequency of tooth brushing, and underwent measurement of vascular function, flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) and nitroglycerine-induced vasodilation. The subjects were divided into 2 groups according to frequency of tooth brushing (≥twice/day and <once/day). FMD was significantly lower in the <once/day tooth brushing group as compared to the ≥twice/day tooth brushing group (3.3±2.2% vs. 5.0±3.0%, P<0.001). There was no significant difference in nitroglycerine-induced vasodilation between the 2 groups. On multiple logistic regression analysis, tooth brushing <once/day remained independently associated with low FMD tertile.
Conclusions: Poor oral health, that is, decreased frequency of tooth brushing, is associated with endothelial dysfunction.