Can Fixing My Gums Save My Heart?

Successful treatment of periodontal disease appears to slow progression of cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown an association between periodontal disease and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A new observation study out of Sweden by Dr. Holmlund of Uppsala University breaks ground in showing for the first time that among patients who seek treatment for periodontal disease, treatment responders have on average a 28 percent lower risk of fatal or non-fatal MI, stroke, or heart failure than non-responders.

Commonly referred to as gum disease, periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease caused when bacteria in plaque below the gum line leads to swelling, irritation, and possibly receding gums and tooth loss. Periodontal disease has been linked to many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer. Despite its prevalence, periodontal disease is hardly ever discussed, resulting in a lack of urgency for people to properly care for their gums.

​T​he A​merican Academy of Periodontology (AAP) ​urges all Americans to “Love the gums you’re with” and take better care of their gums by adopting simple improvements to oral hygiene. To aid in the prevention of periodontal disease, the AAP recommends brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and discussing periodontal health with a dental professional.

adv_serenitylogoPegah S. Salami DMD