n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Carotid and popliteal artery intima-media thickness in patients with poor oral hygiene and the association with acute-phase reactants

Volume 24, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



The aim of this study was to evaluate whether poor oral hygiene is associated with carotid and popliteal arterial intima-media thickness, which is one of the predictors of future progression of sub-clinical atherosclerosis, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and fibrinogen levels.

A specialised dentist checked the patients and selected 550 patients during periodontal examinations, according to their oral hygiene. The patients had no history of atherosclerotic disease. Carotid and popliteal artery B-mode ultrasonographic examinations and hsCRP and fibrinogen levels were analysed at baseline and after a mean of 6.2 months. The patients were scored on the DMFT index for the number of decayed (D), missing (M), and filled (F) teeth (T). We also used the Silness-Loe plaque index (SLI) to evaluate oral hygiene and dental plaque. The patients were divided into two groups using the DMFT and SLI criteria. Group I had a DMFT index score from 0 to 3 and SLI index score of 0 or 1. Group II had a DMFT index score from 4 to 28 and SLI index score of 2 or 3.
A significant association was observed between dental status, oral hygiene, carotid and popliteal artery intima-media thickness and hsCRP level. Patients with increasing DMFT and SLI scores correlated with increasing carotid artery intima-media thickness.
The results clearly showed that chronic poor oral hygiene and tooth loss are related to sub-clinical atherosclerotic changes in the carotid arteries and may be indicative of future progression of atherosclerosis.

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