New Research Links Endodontic Lesions to Higher Heart Disease Risk

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A new study has linked endodontic lesions to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Research conducted by a team at the University of Helsinki revealed that endodontic lesions, known as apical rarefactions, increased the risk of heart disease. The researchers discovered that the more apical rarefactions a person had, the higher their risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Lead author of the study, Dr John Liljestrand, said that the study lends further support to the notion that oral inflammation is linked to an elevated risk of heart disease. In the past, research has connected periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) with cardiovascular disease, but this study also suggests a relationship between endodontic lesions and heart disease. Dr Liljestrand explained that endodontic lesions have similar properties to periodontitis and the team wanted to investigate the role they might play in determining cardiovascular risk.

The study involved a sample of 508 adults. All participants had been through coronary aniography between 2006 and 2008. The group was then divided up according to the severity of their heart condition. A dental expert took a number of bacteria and blood samples and X-rays from the participants. The expert was unaware of the patients’ cardiovascular health and medical history. The group was then divided again, according to the number of endodontic lesions present in the patient’s mouth.

Dr Liljestrand suggested that the results of the study pointed to a link between endodontic lesions and an increased risk of heart disease. The findings have been published in the Journal of Dental Research.

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