Could Gum Disease Cause Heart Disease?
Some Experts Think So

The Growing Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Growing evidence continues to suggest a link between gum disease and heart disease (as well as other diseases such as diabetes and colon cancer).

Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease of bacterial origin. Recently, the Colgate Oral and Dental Heath Resource Centre, along with Columbia University, phrased periodontitis and gum disease(s) as “infections of the structures around teeth.” These structures most often include the gums themselves.

Continued research and hypotheses continue to show a link between gum disease and heart disease.

In a recent article on NursingPractice.com, Dr. Louise Tulloh and Professor Robert Tulloh, expound on the correlation between the two diseases:

“Atherosclerosis and heart disease – gum disease may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. Data from both human and animal studies has suggested that periodontitis is also associated with the progression of atherosclerosis. It is also believed to worsen existing heart disease.”

They continue…

“Several hypotheses linking periodontal disease and the complications of atherosclerosis (coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, myocardial infarction, angina, acute coronary syndrome and non haemorrhagic stroke) have been proposed.

1.It may reflect confounding by common risk factors (such as,  smoking, obesityand diabetes) that cause both periodontal disease and atherosclerosis.

2.The link may reflect an individual predisposition to develop an energetic inflammatory response to intrinsic (age, sex, genetics) or extrinsic stimuli (diet, smoking) that then predisposes a patient to both periodontal disease and atherosclerosis.

3.The presence of an inflammatory focus in the mouth may potentiate the atherosclerotic process by stimulating various inflammatory pathways. The degree of inflammation resulting from periodontal disease is enough to elevate the C-reactive protein (CRP) signifying that a systemic inflammatory response has been mounted.

4.The presence of periodontal disease may lead to intermittent episodes of bacteremia with inoculation of atherosclerotic plaques by oral pathogens such as, porphyromonas gingivalis. When these bacterias proliferate, inflammation and plaque instability ensues.”

Data and research such as this are powerful tools in combating the continual, life-altering effects of periodontal disease.

At Beacon Woods Family Dentistry, our focus is on providing a range of dental treatments to our patients in the Hudson, FL area.

For more information on our treatments, click here or give us a call at (727) 862-7664.

We’d love to help you keep your smile!

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