The link between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
The link between gum disease and your general health is covered in my research papers, as is the link between gum disease and heart disease.
You might tend to regard gum disease as something relatively minor in the overall scheme of things. If that’s the case, however, you might be in for a shock, as a significant number of studies in recent years point to a link between gum disease and heart disease.
Research is not so clear as to why the two conditions tend to be linked, but it's certainly true to say that both of these diseases involve inflammation. In addition, they both demonstrate a number of risk factors in common.
Just because we’re not sure why the two conditions are linked, it would be wrong to write off the research findings without looking into them in greater depth.
First of all, let’s look at the mutual risk factors that link the two diseases. There’s a relatively long list, but among the more common factors are smoking, the onset of diabetes, and simply getting older.
The research is also unable to identify, at this stage, as to whether heart disease causes gum disease – or the other way around. The statistics tell us, however, that if you are experiencing serious heart problems, then you are a whopping 50% more likely to be suffering from.
The statistic is pretty much identical in the other direction – if you have periodontitis, you are 50% more likely to also be suffering from a heart condition.
The seriousness of this link stems from the fact that heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in many countries throughout the world.
It seems fairly certain that cardiologists and dentists need to pool their expertise when addressing this potential link between heart disease and gum disease.
This is already happening to a significant degree, and many dentists will already ask patients about their general health – and their heart health in general. The need now is for cardiologists to take a look at the gums of their patients for any warning signs of gum disease.
The link between heart disease and gum disease is relatively new, and there’s every hope that within the coming years, we’ll have a much clearer picture as to the link between the two – and which comes first.
In the meantime, however, the lesson is that you should be particularly vigilant when you suspect that you have gum disease, as it could well lead to something much more serious down the line.