Posts Tagged ‘Cardiovascular Disease’

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.

What Happens in Your Mouth Doesn’t Necessarily Stay in Your Mouth

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Research has shown that there may be an association between periodontal disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, among others. Scientists believe that inflammation may be the cause behind the link between periodontal disease and other chronic conditions. Inflammation, the body’s reaction to fight off infection, guard against injury, or shield against irritation, initially intends to have a protective effect. Untreated chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can lead to the destruction of affected tissues, which can lead to more serious health conditions.

If you think or know you have one of the inflammatory conditions listed below, it is important to talk with both your physician and a dental health professional, such as a periodontist, to help reduce your risk of further disease progression. Dental professionals and medical professionals will often work together to manage their patients living with, or at risk for, the following diseases:

Cardiovascular Disease.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the leading killers of men and women each year. Research has shown that inflammation is a major risk factor for developing CVD, and that people with periodontal disease may have an increased risk for CVD. Though more research is needed to better understand the connection between periodontal disease and CVD, don’t be surprised if your periodontist asks you about your heart health or if your cardiologist or physician asks you about your periodontal health.

Diabetes

Periodontal disease can be a complication of diabetes. Researchers have found that people with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease. However, the risk isn’t just one way; people with periodontal disease may find it more difficult to control their blood sugar levels, which can increase the risk for diabetic complications. If you are living with diabetes, it is crucial that you pay close attention to your periodontal health.

Pregnancy Complications

Studies have shown that women with periodontal disease may be at an increased risk of pregnancy complications, such as delivering a preterm or low birth weight baby. More research is needed to determine the exact relationship, but expectant mothers should consider having a periodontal evaluation to ensure that their periodontal health is at its best. Respiratory Diseases Research has suggested that bacteria found in the mouth can be drawn into the respiratory tract and cause an inflammatory response in the lungs, commonly known as pneumonia. In addition, periodontal disease may also worsen existing chronic lung conditions. Anyone with lung or respiratory problems should consider a complete oral health examination to determine if gum disease is present. Since periodontal disease has been shown to have a connection with other chronic diseases, you should try to keep your teeth and gums healthy. First, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice each day and floss your teeth at least once each day. Additionally, you should receive a comprehensive periodontal exam each year from your general dentist or your periodontist. Doing so can help ensure that your periodontal health is at its best, which can help keep your entire body healthy.

Respiratory Diseases

Research has suggested that bacteria found in the mouth can be drawn into the respiratory tract and cause an inflammatory response in the lungs, commonly known as pneumonia. In addition, periodontal disease may also worsen existing chronic lung conditions. Anyone with lung or respiratory problems should consider a complete oral health examination to determine if gum disease is present. Since periodontal disease has been shown to have a connection with other chronic diseases, you should try to keep your teeth and gums healthy. First, be sure to brush your teeth at least twice each day and floss your teeth at least once each day. Additionally, you should receive a comprehensive periodontal exam each year from your general dentist or your periodontist. Doing so can help ensure that your periodontal health is at its best, which can help keep your entire body healthy.