Tooth loss and stroke: results from the behavioral risk factor surveillance system, 2010


R C. Wiener

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Purpose—Strokes are common events of significant morbidity and mortality. Poor oral conditions may share or exacerbate pathways that lead to stroke. Methods—This study was a cross-sectional study of 410,939 participants from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Stroke was defined as the participant's response (yes/no) to the survey's question, “Has a doctor, nurse or other health professional ever told you that you had a stroke?” The definition for tooth loss was based upon participant's response to the survey's question, “How many of your permanent teeth have been removed because of tooth decay or gum disease?” Descriptive, Chi Square and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Other variables that are known etiologic factors were also included in the analysis. Results—The participants with increasing numbers of teeth lost had increasing adjusted odds ratios for stroke independent of the other factors. In adjusted logistic regression analysis, the participants who had 1 to 5 missing teeth had an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 1.29 (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.17, 1.42), participants who had 6 or more, but not all missing teeth had an AOR of 1.68 (95% CI: 1.50, 1.88), and participants who were edentulous had an AOR of 1.86 (95% CI: 1.63, 2.11). Conclusion—Evidence from this cross-sectional study indicates that tooth loss had a potential, although weak positive association as an independent factor in multivariable analysis with stroke.