Apical periodontitis can increase the predisposition to diseases of the cardiovascular system. This is evidenced by a study by scientists from the University of Helsinki, the results of which are published in the Journal of Dental Research.
Apical periodontitis is an inflammation of the tissues located between the plate of the tooth cell and the cement of the tooth root (periodontal). Most often, infection is provoked by caries and is a protective reaction to an infectious microbe in the dental pulp. Recent studies indicate a link between apical periodontitis and nonspecific inflammatory processes, and it is also considered an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease and diabetes.
In the new work, Finnish scientists examined 508 patients aged about 62 years. Angiography of the coronary arteries showed that 36% of them suffer from stable coronary artery disease, 33% - from acute coronary syndrome. For the rest of the subjects, severe ischemic disease was not typical. The condition of the teeth and jaws was studied by panoramic tomography: based on the results of the analysis, it was concluded that one or more foci of inflammation were present in 58% of patients.
In addition, the researchers found a correlation between inflammatory processes in the tissues surrounding the tooth and high levels of serum antibodies associated with infectious microbes. According to Dr. John Liljestrand, this indicates the effect of oral diseases on other organs. During the observations, the scientists took into account factors such as gender, tobacco smoking, diabetes mellitus, body mass index, periodontitis and the number of teeth in the subjects.
"Acute coronary syndrome occurs in patients requiring root canal treatment, 2, 7 times more often than others," - said the scientist.
He also added that apical periodontitis is often latent in nature and is detected by chance as part of an X-ray examination. At the same time, cardiovascular diseases are the cause of more than 30% of deaths in the world. In addition to a healthy diet, physical activity and smoking cessation, the treatment of oral infections is also a preventive measure against such diseases, Liljestrand is sure.