Relationship between periodontal disease, tooth loss, and carotid artery plaque: The oral infections and vascular disease epidemiology study (INVEST)

Moïse Desvarieux, Ryan T. Demmer, Tatjana Rundek, Bernadette Boden-Albala, David R. Jacobs, Panos N. Papapanou, Ralph L Sacco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

281 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Chronic infections, including periodontal infections, may predispose to cardiovascular disease. The present study investigates the relationship of periodontal disease and tooth loss with subclinical atherosclerosis. Methods - We enrolled 711 subjects with a mean age of 66±9 years and no history of stroke or myocardial infarction in the Oral Infections and Vascular Disease Epidemiology Study. Subjects received a comprehensive periodontal examination, extensive in-person cardiovascular disease risk factor measurements, and a carotid scan using high-resolution B-mode ultrasound. Regression models were adjusted for conventional risk factors (age, sex, smoking, diabetes, systolic blood pressure, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, race-ethnicity, education, physical activity) and markers of cultural background, healthy lifestyle, and psychosocial health. Results - Measures of both current and cumulative periodontitis became more severe as tooth loss increased. A significant association was observed between tooth loss levels and carotid artery plaque prevalence. Among those with 0 to 9 missing teeth, 46% had carotid artery plaque, whereas among those with ≥10 missing teeth, carotid artery plaque prevalence was ≈60% (P<0.05). Conclusions - Our data suggest that tooth loss is a marker of past periodontal disease in this population and is related to subclinical atherosclerosis, thereby providing a potential pathway for a relationship with clinical events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2120-2125
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Atherosclerosis
  • Infection
  • Periodontal disease
  • Tooth loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)

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