Dental root tip infections 'can increase risk of heart disease'

3 August 2016

People with infections of the root tip of a tooth may be at greater risk of developing coronary artery disease, according to a new study.

The research, carried out by the University of Helsinki, examined 508 Finnish patients who were experiencing heart symptoms at the time of the study. Following panoramic tomography of their teeth and jaws, as many as 58 per cent were found to be suffering from one or more inflammatory lesions.

Dental root tip infections were connected with a high level of serum antibodies related to common bacteria causing such infections. The findings indicate that root canal treatment of an infected tooth may therefore reduce the risk of heart disease.

Of particular note is the fact that this elevated risk remains an issue even if the infection is symptomless. This is a problem as hidden dental root tip infections are very common and are usually detected by chance via X-ray.

Researcher John Liljestrand said: "Acute coronary syndrome is 2.7 times more common among patients with untreated teeth in need of root canal treatment than among patients without this issue."

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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