The association of chronic apical periodontitis and endodontic therapy with atherosclerosis.

Research paper by Johannes J Petersen, Eva-Maria EM Glaßl, Parinaz P Nasseri, Adriano A Crismani, Anna K AK Luger, Elisabeth E Schoenherr, Kristina K Bertl, Bernhard B Glodny

Indexed on: 18 Dec '13Published on: 18 Dec '13Published in: Clinical Oral Investigations


Chronic apical periodontitis (CAP) appears to be a risk factor for coronary heart disease. The aims of the study were to estimate the significance of AP for the atherosclerotic burden and to examine the potential effect of endodontic treatment.The whole-body computed tomography (CT) examinations of 531 patients with a mean age of 50 ± 15.7 years were evaluated retrospectively. The atherosclerotic burden of the abdominal aorta was quantified using a calcium scoring method. The parameters of periodontitis were measured using the CT scan.The patients had a total of 11,191 teeth. The volume of the aortic atherosclerotic burden for patients with at least one CAP lesion was 0.32 ± 0.92 ml, higher than for patients with no CAP (0.17 ± 0.51 ml; p < 0.05). The atherosclerotic burden increased with age and number of CAP lesions without root canal treatment, but not with number of CAP lesions with endodontic treatments (p < 0.05 each). In logistic regression models, age (Wald 90.8), CAP without endodontic treatment (Wald 39.9), male gender (Wald 9.8), and caries per tooth (Wald 9.0) correlated positively and the number of fillings (Wald 11) correlated negatively with the atherosclerotic burden (p < 0.05 each). Apical radiolucencies in teeth with endodontic treatment were irrelevant with respect to atherosclerosis.CAP correlated positively with the aortic atherosclerotic burden. In regression models, CAP without endodontic treatment was found to be an important factor, not however apical radiolucencies in teeth with endodontic treatment.Further research is needed to clarify the possible clinical significance of these associations.