Posts Tagged ‘AHA’

Periodontal Disease Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Periodontal Disease Linked to Cardiovascular Disease

 

Adairsville, GA – August 7, 2012 – A scientific statement recently published by the American Heart Association (AHA) concludes that observational studies support an association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, independent of shared risk factors. However, some media reports surrounding the statement’s publication have inaccurately classified the relationship as insignificant and suggested that there is no scientific evidence to support a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease.

 

While current research does not yet provide evidence of a causal relationship between the two diseases, scientists have identified certain factors, such as chronic inflammation, that independently link periodontal disease to the development or progression of cardiovascular disease in some patients.

 

The lack of causal evidence should not diminish concern about the impact of periodontal status on cardiovascular health. According to Leroy B. Alford DDS, “As the AHA statement points out, the association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease is real and independent of shared risk factors. Patients and healthcare providers should not ignore the increased risk of heart disease associated with gum disease just because we do not have all the answers yet.”

 

Dr. Alford encourages physicians and dentists to communicate the association between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease to patients. “Patients should be aware that by maintaining periodontal health, they are helping to reduce harmful inflammation in the body, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

 

Patients should expect to receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation from their dental professional at least once a year, adds Dr. Alford. This includes a detailed examination of the teeth and gums, and an assessment of risk factors such as smoking, age, and overall health status. In addition, patients diagnosed with periodontal disease should be sure to inform their general health care provider and/or cardiologist to encourage better integration of their care.

 

For more information about periodontal disease, visit perio.org.