Researchers may be one step closer to establishing a link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease (CVD) – the number one cause of death worldwide.
These investigators report that older adults who have higher proportions of four periodontal-disease-causing bacteria inhabiting their mouths also tend to have thicker carotid arteries, a strong predictor of stroke and heart attack. The study, published in the journal Circulation, was supported by four agencies of the National Institutes of Health.
While current research does not yet provide evidence of a causal relationship between the two diseases, scientists have identified biologic factors, such as chronic inflammation, that independently link periodontal disease to the development or progression of cardiovascular disease.
According to the authors, these data mark the first report of a direct association between cardiovascular disease and bacteria involved in periodontal disease, inflammation of the gums that affects to varying degrees an estimated 200 million Americans.
Periodontal disease is characterized by bacterial growth and production of factors that gradually destroy the tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth. Some symptoms may include gums that are swollen or tender, receding gums or persistent bad breath.
According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, periodontal disease contributes to blood vessel dysfunction, which was improved by an intensive regimen of periodontal treatment.
Currently, more than one in three Americans over age 30 has some form of Periodontitis, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Recent statistics have estimated that the prevalence of moderate to advanced gum disease may be as high as 50% of adults in the US.
If you are concerned about the health of your gums and teeth, call today to schedule an appointment with a highly-trained periodontist. We can provide you with a thorough periodontal examination, from which we can make an assessment of your cardiovascular risk potential, associated with Periodontal Diseases.
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