J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2017 Dec;41(4):274-281. 10.11149/jkaoh.2017.41.4.274.

Associations between atherosclerosis and periodontitis, physical health and dental care: a pilot study

  • 1Department of Preventive & Social Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. jjbh@snu.ac.kr
  • 2Health Promotion Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


OBJECTIVES: This pilot study aimed to obtain preliminary data on the associations between atherosclerosisand periodontitis, physical health status, and general and oral health behaviors.
Thirty-three subjects were recruited from among those who underwent carotid computed tomography (CT) angiography and general health check-up at the Seoul National University Hospital Health Examination Center (SNUHHEC). Two trained dentists conducted a periodontal examination to evaluate probing pocket depth and clinical attachment loss. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by study subjects, following informed consent. Data on physical health status were collected through review of medical records from the SNUHHEC. Information on general health behavior was obtainedfrom the self-reported questionnaire. Descriptive and comparative analyses were performed using IBM SPSS Statistics 21.0®. Statistical significance was set at P<0.05.
A marginal, but non-significant association was noted between atherosclerosis and periodontitis(P=0.373). Flossing habit showed a significant association with periodontitis (P=0.007) and obesity (P=0.033). A possible association was noted between daily exercise and flossing (P=0.073). The habitual use of interdental brush also showed borderline association with smoking (P=0.098) and a stronger associationwith previous periodontal treatment (P=0.067); however, these associations were not statisticallysignificant.
Our pilot study did not show an association between arteriosclerosis and periodontal disease.However, positive oral health care behavior, especially flossing, seems to alleviate arteriosclerosis. In other words, in this pilot survey, we confirmed the possibility that healthy oral care behavior can help to alleviate arteriosclerosis. Future large-scale studies are needed to confirm whether positive oral health care behaviors improve overall health.


Atherosclerosis; Dental care; Exercise; Overweight; Periodontitis
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