Cardiovascular risk increases after invasive dental treatment


A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Ann Int Med 2010;153:499-506) suggests that the risk of cardiovascular events increases sharply in the month following invasive dental treatment.

A team led by doctors from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used the US Medicaid claims database to identify 1,175 people who had experienced both invasive dental treatment and a hospital diagnosis of ischaemic stroke or myocardial infarction. They then compared the risk of the cardiovascular event in periods immediately after invasive dental treatment with the incidence in all other time periods in the patients' records.

Results showed that the rate of vascular events significantly increased in the first month after an invasive dental treatment (HR 1.50; 95% CI 1.09-2.06) and then gradually declined to the baseline rate within the next six months.

"These findings provide further evidence to support the link between acute inflammation and the risk for vascular events," the authors say. But an accompanying editorial counters that the evidence directly linking periodontal disease, markers of inflammation, and atherosclerosis remains "debatable". However the study does underline the importance of good dental hygeine - prevention is better than the cure.

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