Improved Oral Health Status Is Associated with a Lower Risk of Venous Thromboembolism: A Nationwide Cohort Study

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Oral health is reportedly associated with several systemic diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases, through systemic inflammatory and thrombotic mechanisms. This study aimed to investigate the association between oral health status, oral hygiene behavior, and venous thromboembolism (VTE) in a nationwide, population-based cohort database in a longitudinal setting. Data of participants who underwent oral health screening by dentists between January and December 2003 (n = 2,415,963) were retrieved from the National Health Insurance Database of the Korean National Health Insurance Service. Periodontitis was identified using claims or oral health screening data. Periodontal pockets and the number of missing teeth were examined by dentists during oral health screenings. Data on oral hygiene behaviors (tooth brushing, dental visits, and dental scaling) were collected. VTE was defined as two or more claims of one of the following ICD-10 codes: deep (I80.2–80.3), pulmonary (I26, I26.0, I26.9), intra-abdominal (I81, I82, I82.2, I82.3), and other (I82.8, I82.9) VTE and concurrent medication (anticoagulants and antiplatelets). VTE was analyzed using the Cox proportional hazard model according to periodontitis, number of missing teeth, tooth brushing frequency, dental visits, and dental scaling. VTE occurred in 39,851 (1.8%) participants within a median of 17.0 (interquartile range 16.3–17.7) years. Periodontitis was associated with VTE (adjusted hazard ratio (HR), 1.2; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.15–1.28; p < 0.001). An increased number of missing teeth was associated with an increased risk of VTE; the adjusted HR (versus participants without missing teeth) was 1.58 (95% CI, 1.46–1.71; p < 0.001, p for trend < 0.001) for participants with ≥15 missing teeth. Furthermore, tooth brushing ≥3 times a day was negatively correlated with VTE (adjusted HR, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.65–0.69; p < 0.001, p for trend < 0.001). Dental scaling within one year was associated with a significantly lower risk of VTE (adjusted HR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.93–0.98; p < 0.001). Improved oral hygiene, including tooth brushing and dental scaling, may be associated with a decreased risk of VTE. Periodontitis and an increased number of missing teeth may increase the risk of VTE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • deep vein thrombosis
  • oral hygiene
  • periodontitis
  • pulmonary thromboembolism
  • tooth brushing
  • venous thromboembolism


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