Your Heart’s Health May Depend On Number of Natural Teeth!

Posted on Apr 24, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Could tooth loss and bleeding gums set you on a path for cardiovascular disease? In the largest study of its kind, a connection has been revealed that shouldn’t be ignored.

Research results were recently released on how periodontal disorders, such as tooth loss and gingivitis, are associated with risk for cardiovascular disease.

The report was released in April 2014 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. It published information on a clinical trial involving 15,828 participants, all with chronic coronary heart disease. It found that indications of periodontal disease (few remaining teeth and gum bleeding) were common in these patients.

However, those who had more natural teeth were found to have lower levels of cardiovascular disease risk factors. They also had lower glucose levels and better blood pressure readings. Even participants who had diabetes, consumed alcohol, were under stress or were smokers had healthier numbers when they had more teeth and minimal gum bleeding.

Nearly 70% of these participants with chronic cardiovascular disease were current or former smokers. Sixteen percent of the group had no remaining natural teeth with 41% having less than 15 teeth. Over one-fourth of the group reported bleeding gums when brushing teeth.

These findings reinforce the link between dental disease and coronary heart disease. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. The study’s evidence shows poor dental health among chronic coronary patients increases their risk level. While age and smoking are recognized as risk factors related to both periodontal and cardiovascular diseases, this shows that the association between the conditions goes far deeper.

Although this doesn’t confirm that periodontal disease is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease, it is another reason to make every effort to maintain healthy gums and do everything possible to keep your natural teeth.

If you have bleeding gums, you likely have periodontal disease. Contact us promptly at (828) 274-9440 for an appointment. This will not improve without treatment and can result in eventual tooth loss.

By the way, the next time your dentist recommends a crown to protect your natural tooth, remember this study that shows your heart may reap the benefits as well.

Recent Posts