Long-term cigarette smoking increases the prevalence of carotid artery calcification seen on panoramic dental radiographs in male patients

Masahiro Kumagai, Toshio Yamagishi, Norimasa Fukui, Masatoshi Chiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Panoramic dental radiographs are commonly used in general dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery to examine upper and lower teeth, maxilla, mandible and the surroundings simultaneously. Carotid artery calcification, a specific indicator of atherosclerotic change of the carotid arteries, can be seen on the radiographs. Many studies have suggested that cigarette smoking is a risk factor of atherosclerotic change as well as cerebral infarction. We hypothesized that smoking could increase the prevalence of carotid artery calcification, and compared the radiographs of smokers and non-smokers aged 50 years and over: 146 male smokers, 165 male non-smokers, 42 female smokers and 422 female non-smokers. This is the first study to focus on carotid artery calcification seen on panoramic dental radiographs to show the connection between smoking and atherosclerotic change. In male patients, carotid artery calcification was seen in 18 (14.1%) of the smokers, and in 8 (4.8%) of the non-smokers, which clearly shows that male patients aged 50 years old or over are more likely to develop carotid artery calcification if they smoke. However, there is no significant difference between female smokers and female non-smokers in the same age group. Dentists are in a good position to find carotid artery calcification on radiographs. When this is found on a radiograph, the patient should be advised to stop smoking and be referred to a physician for further tests. Clinicians should be aware that this radiographic finding indicates the presence of atherosclerotic change of the carotid arteries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalTohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine
Volume212
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr 27

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid artery calcification
  • Cerebral infarction
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Panoramic dental radiograph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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