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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart

Recent research indicates that chronic gum disease (periodontitis) is associated with the development of heart (cardiovascular) disease.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy HeartIn July, a consensus paper on the link between periodontal disease and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease was published in the American Journal of Cardiology, a peer reviewed journal circulated to 30,000 cardiologists, and the Journal of Periodontology. The evidence for a link between periodontal disease and systemic diseases has been mounting for many years. Now it appears more likely than ever there is, indeed, a connection. I remember learning about this topic, over ten years ago in dental school, and at that time it was a bit controversial. However, this year, in a groundbreaking collaboration, cardiologists and periodontists agreed: 1. There appears to be a scientific relationship between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease. 2. treatment of one disease will probably have a salutary effect on the other. 3. Inflammation is probably the connection.
There are several theories as to how periodontitis may have an impact on heart health. One theory is that bacteria may enter the bloodstream through the mouth and have the potential to attach to fatty deposts in the blood vessels, which may contribute to heart disease.. Another theory is that inflammation associated with periodontitis may play a role. To learn more about this subject, feel free to bring it up at your next dental visit...and always remember to tell us if you have a heart condition and what, if any, medications you are taking.

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