Association between carotid area calcifications and periodontal risk: a cross sectional study of panoramic radiographic findings

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2011, 11:67doi:10.1186/1471-2261-11-67

The aim was to investigate the extent to which it is possible to diagnose suspected carotid calcification from dental panoramic radiography (PR) and to establish an association to periodontal risk.


824 PRs from one dental practice were investigated. Parameters considered were gender, age, bone loss - age index, tooth loss, periodontal risk and suspected carotid calcification (left, right, both sides). Periodontal risk was classified: low risk (under 4 missing teeth, bone loss - age index under 0.5), moderate risk (5 to 8 missing teeth and/or bone loss - age index 0.5 to 1.0) and high risk (more than 9 missing teeth and or bone loss - age index greater than 1.0).


Of 824 patients, 349 were male (42.4%) and 475 female (57.6%); the mean age was 48.32+/-16.52 years. In 9.0% (n=74) of PRs, suspected carotid calcification was diagnosed (right: 5.5%, left: 2.3%, both sides: 1.2%). The mean tooth loss was 4.16+/-5.39 teeth. In the case of 282 patients (34.2%), there was a low, in 335 patients (40.7%) a moderate, and in 207 patients (25.1%) a high periodontal risk. There was a significant correlation found between number of cases of suspected carotid calcification and periodontal risk, tooth loss and age (p=0.0001). However, only age showed a significant association (OR: 4.9; CI: 2.4-9.8; p<0.0001) in contrast to periodontal risk (OR 1.4; CI: 0.9-2.4).


PR can provides indication of carotid calcification as a secondary (chance) finding. In addition, periodontal risk may be correlated with positive findings of carotid calcification.


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