Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Cardiol. 2013 Oct 3;168(3):2300-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.01.192. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

Dental scaling and atrial fibrillation: a nationwide cohort study.

Author information

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital Su-Ao and Yuanshan branch, I-Lan, Taiwan; Institute of Public Health and School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.



Improvement of oral hygiene through dental scaling was associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular events. The goal of the present study was to investigate whether dental scaling can reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF).


In year 2000, a total of 28,909 subjects who were age 60 or more without past history of cardiac arrhythmias were identified from the "National Health Insurance Research Database" in Taiwan. Among these subjects, those who have received dental scaling at least 1 time/year for 3 consecutive years (1998-2000) were selected to be the exposed group (n=3391). A total of 13,564 age, sex and underlying disease-matched subjects without receiving dental scaling were identified to be the non-exposed group. The study endpoint was the occurrence of new-onset AF.


During a follow-up of 4.6 ± 1.1 years, 478 participants (2.8%) developed AF. The exposed group had a lower AF occurrence rate than non-exposed group (2.2% versus 3.0%; p value=0.017). After an adjustment with age, gender, and comorbidities in the multivariate analysis, dental scaling was associated with a reduced risk of AF (hazard ratio=0.671, 95% CI=0.524-0.859; p value=0.002). Among the exposed group, the hazard ratio in developing AF was 0.340 (95% CI=0.247-0.489; p value <0.001) when subjects received 1 more dental scaling per year.


The risk of AF was lower in subjects receiving dental scaling. Improvement of oral hygiene by dental scaling may be a simple and useful way to prevent AF.


Atrial fibrillation; Dental scaling; Inflammation; Oral hygiene; Risk reduction

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center