Author(s): Edds AC, Walden JE, Scheetz JP, Goldsmith LJ, Drisko CL,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract We propose that calcification of dental pulp may have a similar pathogenesis as calcified atheromas and could lead to use of routine dental radiographs as a rapid screening method for early identification of potential cardiovascular disease (CVD). Fifty-five dental patients ages 20 to 55 were chosen because pulp stones in pulpally noninflamed teeth were not expected in this age group. They completed a questionnaire regarding their CVD status and that of their parents and siblings. Entry criteria included at least one asymptomatic, minimally restored, noncarious molar and no history of gout, renal disease, or renal lithiasis. Patients' periapical radiographs of record were viewed to determine the presence of pulp stones. There was a significant relationship between pre-existing CVD and pulp stones (odds ratio of 4.4 with a 95\% confidence interval of 1.1, 18.7), but no relationship was found for family history of CVD and pulp stones (odds ratio of 1.7 with a 95\% confidence interval of 0.5, 5.5). Seventy-four percent (14/19) of patients with reported CVD had detectable pulp stones while only 39\% (14/36) of patients without a history of CVD had pulp stones. This pilot study demonstrates that patients with CVD have an increased incidence of pulp stones in teeth with noninflamed pulps compared to patients with no history of CVD. No relationship was found between presence of pulp stones and family history of CVD. The findings suggest that dental radiographic determination of the presence or absence of pulp stones may have possibilities for use in CVD screening.
This article was published in J Endod
and referenced in Journal of Patient Care