Oral infections in childhood may increase risk of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood
Periodontitis in particular has been studied extensively, and currently, it is considered an independent risk factor for atherosclerotic vascular diseases. The treatment of periodontitis is also known to decrease cardiovascular risk factors.The study was initiated in 1980 when clinical oral examinations were conducted. Cardiovascular risk factors were measured at several times. Cumulative exposure to the risk factor was calculated in both childhood and adulthood.
The signs of oral infections and inflammation collected in the study included caries, fillings, bleeding on probing, and probing pocket depth. There were no differences between the boys and the girls.
Thickening of the carotid artery wall indicates the progression of atherosclerosis and an increased risk for myocardial or cerebral infarction, reports ANI.
The researchers emphasise, in conclusion, “Oral infections were an independent risk factor for subclinical atherosclerosis, and their association with cardiovascular risk factors persevered through the entire follow-up. Prevention and treatment of oral infections are important already in childhood.”