August 2, 2016
by News Medical
According to a study carried out at the University of Helsinki, an infection of the root tip of a tooth increases the risk of coronary artery disease, even if the infection is symptomless.
Hidden dental root tip infections are very common: as many as one in four Finns suffers from at least one. Such infections are usually detected by chance from X-rays.
“Acute coronary syndrome is 2.7 times more common among patients with untreated teeth in need of root canal treatment than among patients without this issue,” says researcher John Liljestrand.
The study was carried out at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases of the University of Helsinki, in cooperation with the Heart and Lung Centre at Helsinki University Hospital. Its results were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Dental Research.
Dental root tip infection, or apical periodontitis, is a bodily defence reaction against microbial infection in the dental pulp. Caries is the most common cause of dental root tip infection.
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