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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 569675, 5 pages
Research Article

Dental Calculus Is Associated with Death from Heart Infarction

1Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, P.O. Box 4064, 14104 Huddinge, Sweden
2Institute of Dentistry and Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, PB 41, 00014 Helsinki, Finland

Received 16 April 2013; Revised 30 September 2013; Accepted 22 October 2013; Published 9 January 2014

Academic Editor: Claudia Slimings

Copyright © 2014 Birgitta Söder et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. We studied whether the amount of dental calculus is associated with death from heart infarction in the dental infection—atherosclerosis paradigm. Materials. Participants were 1676 healthy young Swedes followed up from 1985 to 2011. At the beginning of the study all subjects underwent oral clinical examination including dental calculus registration scored with calculus index (CI). Outcome measure was cause of death classified according to WHO International Classification of Diseases. Unpaired t-test, Chi-square tests, and multiple logistic regressions were used. Results. Of the 1676 participants, 2.8% had died during follow-up. Women died at a mean age of 61.5 years and men at 61.7 years. The difference in the CI index score between the survivors versus deceased patients was significant by the year 2009 (). In multiple regression analysis of the relationship between death from heart infarction as a dependent variable and CI as independent variable with controlling for age, gender, dental visits, dental plaque, periodontal pockets, education, income, socioeconomic status, and pack-years of smoking, CI score appeared to be associated with 2.3 times the odds ratio for cardiac death. Conclusions. The results confirmed our study hypothesis by showing that dental calculus indeed associated statistically with cardiac death due to infarction.