Poor Oral Health Can Be A Stealthy Assassin

Relationship between oral health and mortality rate.

J Clin Periodontal 2002 Nov;29(11):1029-34. Jansson L., Lavseted S., Frithiof L.

Department of Periodontology at Folktandvarden Skanstull, Stockholm, Sweden. leif.jansson@ftv.sll.se

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Some symptoms of diseases or causes of death are often related to oral health, especially cardiovascular diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between poor oral health and mortality risk, especially when cases of fatal cardiovascular diseases were excluded.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: An odontological investigation was made on a sample of 1393 individuals, aged 18-65 years, in 1970 in the County of Stockholm with a follow-up in 1997, when the mortality rate and causes of death in the sample during the time period 1971-1996 were registered. Oral health was defined as a sum of scores for number of missing teeth, apical lesions, caries lesions and marginal bone loss.

RESULTS: A significant correlation was found between poor oral health and an increased mortality risk even when persons dying from cardiovascular diseases were excluded from the analyses.

CONCLUSION: Poor oral health was found to be a risk indicator of all-cause mortality. The lack of specificity of the associations between oral health and mortality strengthens the hypothesis that the significant correlations could be explained by not identified confounding factors.


The association of dental plaque with cancer mortality in Sweden. A longitudinal study.

BMJ Open 2012; e001083 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001083. Birgitta Söder, Maha Yakob, Jukka H Meurman, Leif C Andersson, Per-Östen Söder.

Objectives To study whether the amount of dental plaque, which indicates poor oral hygiene and is potential source of oral infections, associates with premature death from cancer.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Participants 1390 randomly selected healthy young Swedes followed up from 1985 to 2009. All subjects underwent oral clinical examination and answered a questionnaire assessing background variables such as socioeconomic status and smoking.

Outcome measures Causes of death were recorded from national statistics and classified according to the WHO International Classification of Diseases. Unpaired t test, ?2, tests and multiple logistic regressions were used.

Results Of the 1390 participants, 4.2% had died during the follow-up. Women had died at a mean age of 61.0 (±2.6 SD) years and men at the age of 60.2 (±2.9 SD) years. The amount of dental plaque between those who had died versus survived was statistically significant (p<0.001). In multiple logistic regression analysis, dental plaque appeared to be a significant independent predictor associated with 1.79 times the OR of death (p<0.05). Age increased the risk with an OR of 1.98 (p<0.05) and gender (men) with an OR of 1.91 (p<0.05). The malignancies were more widely scattered in men, while breast cancer was the most frequent cause of death in women.

Conclusions This study hypothesis was confirmed by showing that poor oral hygiene, as reflected in the amount of dental plaque, was associated with increased cancer mortality.


Can oral health problems increase your risk of dying ? Definitely .


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