More Research Links Gum Disease to Heart Health

In follow-up research to an ongoing Swedish study on gum disease, researchers found that individuals with gum disease were 49% more likely to die from any cause, have a nonfatal heart attack or stroke, or to develop severe heart failure.

The original study included more than 1,500 participants with an average age of 62 initially examined between 2010 and 2014. Follow-up data was collected an average of 6.2 years later.

In a recent release from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), research author Dr. Giulia Ferrannini of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden said: “Our study suggests that dental screening programmes including regular check-ups and education on proper dental hygiene may help to prevent first and subsequent heart events.”

The doctor stressed that while the quality of dental healthcare in Sweden is considered high, “the risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event during follow up was higher in participants with periodontitis, increasing in parallel with the severity. This was particularly apparent in patients who had already experienced a myocardial infarction.”

Gum Disease and the Rest of Your Body

More and more research points to the link between periodontal (gum) disease and a growing list of chronic systemic diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis (may lead to tooth loss since jawbone health is impacted), respiratory diseases (bacteria is aspirated into lungs) and even some cancers (researchers found that men with gum disease were 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, for instance).

Research like the Swedish study offers more reasons why we continue to stress the importance of treating gum disease. The board-certified periodontists at the South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry and our hygiene team are experts at treating periodontal (gum) disease with today’s latest procedures and cleaning techniques. If you have concerns about the types of gum disease, symptoms and the possible relationship between gum disease and other health issues, call our office today and set up a consultation. For more information, you can also visit American Academy of Periodontology.