Major Study On Connection Of Periodontal Disease & Cardiovascular Disease

Posted on Jun 01, 2015 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

As a Periodontal Specialist, I frequently read about research that shows a connection between the bacteria of gum disease and other severe diseases, such as heart disease. The connection makes perfect sense.

Largely unknown by the general population, gum disease bacteria can trigger inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body. Oral bacteria has been associated with heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, preterm babies, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and even impotency.

Although most infections are obvious, periodontal disease begins silently. Most people do not suspect it until a dentist or periodontist diagnoses it. The National Institutes of Health cites that nearly 75% of American adults have some level of periodontal (gum) disease.

A recent study on periodontal disease included more than 15,000 adults. Their dental health was monitored to determine if one’s oral health could be a risk marker for cardiovascular disease.

Of the 15,828 participants (all with chronic coronary heart disease), 16% had no teeth and 41% had less than 15 remaining teeth. Over one-quarter of the participants had gums that bled when brushing. According to the findings, as the number of remaining teeth declined, the higher the levels for heart disease and diabetes. There was also an increase in higher glucose and cholesterol levels.

While the exact link between oral bacteria and serious diseases is yet to be pinpointed, the evidence of an association has been overwhelming, thus far. It is known that oral bacteria is a definite part of the equation when it comes to heart disease. As research continues, we will share the findings on the link of one to the other.

One thing is certain – your oral health and overall health are connected. Protect both through a thorough regimen of oral hygiene at home along with regular dental check-ups. If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease or are behind on regular dental care, call us at (828) 274-9440.

Recent Posts