Tooth loss has been associated with an increased risk of vascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral arterial disease.
- One potential pathway linking tooth loss and vascular disease risk is oral infection-inflammation related to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, a local chronic bacterial infection in the oral cavity, may contribute to endothelial dysfunction, carotid artery plaque formation, or deterioration of the antiatherogenic potency of HDL.
- A second pathway is that tooth loss may affect dietary quality and nutrient intake, leading to an increased risk of vascular diseases.
- A third is confounding variables such as smoking or diabetes mellitus that largely affect both tooth loss and vascular diseases may produce spurious association between 2 phenomena.
Tooth loss might lead to dietary pattern change, resulting in an increased risk of hypertension because the change of dietary pattern may be associated with hypertension. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure are important predictors for cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States and Europe as well as in eastern Asia.
On the basis of causal relationship, some hypotheses might be considered potential mechanisms linking tooth loss and an increased risk of hypertension. Intake of some nutrient-rich foods and beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C serum levels were significantly lower in denture wearers in the US civilian, noninstitutionalized population.
People with missing teeth might have been at greater risk of periodontal disease than those without missing teeth, resulting in endothelial dysfunction through the oral infection-inflammation pathway and subsequent increased risk of hypertension.
Tooth loss might be a reflection of previously continuous pain and mental stress that may contribute to an increased risk of hypertension.