This is a big question that has been discussed for years.
I was even told recently by my own dentist that the two are linked.
My father died of a heart attack at the age of 47 and as a child growing up I remember him using products to care for his gums and to prevent them from bleeding.
My own father had definite signs of gum disease. Did this contribute to his own death?
It raised questions in my mind and since then I have read many articles about it.
Plus I visit my periodontist regularly so I do not get gum disease…I am taking preventive measures!
Is There Proof That Gum Disease Causes Heart Disease?
This article says there is no convincing evidence.
HealthDay News — A new scientific statement issued by the American Heart Association says no convincing evidence exists linking untreated gum disease to heart disease or stroke. Nor is there strong evidence that treating gum disease can reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke, the report says.
For more than 100 years, it was said that gum, or periodontal, disease could lead to cardiovascular disease, a major cause of death in the United States, but an extensive analysis found no proof of that connection.
They also said that both these issues produce inflammation which is one of the real causes of heart disease.
Gum disease, heart disease and stroke all produce inflammation in the body. The conditions share some risk factors, such as cigarette smoking, age and diabetes, which is why they often develop in the same people.
…and my father was a smoker.
In another article written by Perio.org they had this to say about peridontal disease (gum disease) and the link to cardiovascular disease.
While current research does not yet provide evidence of a causal relationship between the two diseases, scientists have identified biologic factors, such as chronic inflammation, that independently link periodontal disease to the development or progression of cardiovascular disease in some patients.
Dr. McClain encourages physicians and dentists to communicate the association between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease to patients. “It is not as simple as telling a patient that brushing and flossing will ward off a heart attack,” says Dr. McClain. “Patients should be aware that by maintaining periodontal health, they are helping to reduce harmful inflammation in the body, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.” http://www.perio.org/consumer/AHA-statement.htm
So from now on I think I will listen to my dentist…just in case. You can certainly make lifestyle changes to get your gums and heart healthy. For instance do you have a good diet? Do you smoke? If you do, maybe you will consider quitting…just in case.
In conclusion, heart disease prevention is about how you live today. Anyway, what do you think? Have you heard about the two being linked? Or have you been told by your dentist they are? Please leave your comments below and if you feel this article is worth sharing, please click the share button!