Are Your Gums And Heart Linked?

heart researchOne of every two adults over the age of thirty in the U.S. has periodontal disease according to a new study. There has been a myriad of research establishing a link between periodontal disease and heart disease. This does not bode well for American adults. The largest study known to date to assess periodontal disease in patients with heart disease, has shown a link between the two diseases, as well. If you are experiencing tender, swollen, or bleeding gums, now is the time to visit your Encinitas, CA, periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania, for a complete oral evaluation. Dr. Kania can explain the link between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases.

Perio Disease And Heart Disease Risk Factors

The study involved 15, 828 patients with chronic heart disease from 39 countries. Participants underwent a physical exam, blood work, and filled out a questionnaire regarding their lifestyle and dental health. The participants were also required to list how many natural teeth they had remaining, and how often their gums bled.

Analysis of the data showed that higher levels of tooth loss and bleeding gums indicated higher risk factors for heart disease, including higher “bad” cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure, higher fasting glucose levels, and larger waist circumferences.  Lower levels of tooth loss indicated lower glucose levels, lower blood pressure, smaller waist circumference, and lower “bad” cholesterol levels.

Other risk factors include:

  • Age: Because periodontal disease takes time to develop, it is more prevalent in people ages 50 to 64.
  • Being Male: Periodontal disease is more prevalent in men than women.
  • Smoking: Smoking is a well-known risk factor of both periodontal disease and heart disease. Of those who participated in the study, close to 70% were current or former smokers.
  • Socioeconomic Status: Those with lower incomes and less education are more likely to have periodontal disease.

About Your Encinitas Periodontist

To learn how to keep your smile healthy and beautiful so you can enjoy the benefits it offers, subscribe to this blog, and visit Dr. Kania for a consultation. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, visit our office or contact us today at (760) 642-0711.