According to the Academy of General Dentistry, researchers are finding possible links between periodontal infections and other diseases throughout the body. Current studies suggest that there may be a link between periodontal (gum) disease, heart disease, and other health conditions. In fact, research suggests that gum disease may be a more serious risk factor for heart disease than hypertension, smoking, cholesterol, gender, and age.
New studies suggest that people who have gum disease seem to be at a higher risk for heart attacks, although no one is certain how this relationship works. Your oral health affects your overall health, but the studies that will find exactly why these problems are linked are still underway.
Link between heart disease and chronic periodontitis
A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology confirms that people with periodontal disease are at greater risk of systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, according to The American Academy of Periodontology. Researchers found that diseased gums released higher levels of bacterial proinflammatory components into the bloodstream in patients with severe periodontal disease, compared with healthy patients. These components in the blood could travel to other organs in the body, such as the heart, and cause harm.
This study supports recent findings by the University of Buffalo suggesting that periodontal disease may cause oral bacterial components to enter the bloodstream and trigger the liver to make C-reactive proteins, which are a predictor of increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
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