Periodontal Disease and Cardiovascular Disease

Gum inflammation and the bacteria associated with it have been linked to the associations between Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) and Heart Disease (Cardiovascular Disease). This has led to a search for biological mechanisms that explain the associations. Genetic factors that influence biological processes involved in both diseases represent the possibility of a link between Gum Disease and Heart Disease. A Gene called Interleukin-1 that influences inflammation has been associated with both Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease. Common risk factors related to both are; age, diabetes, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and diet. A research study of 5,000 subgingival (below the gum) samples resulted in evidence of four known bacteria found in both diseases. These four specific bacteria were found in higher levels in the mouth when the Patient also had Heart Disease. There are therapies to treat each disease separately, but none together. It is known that inflammation in the body triggers other problems and that it is important to keep bacteria levels down to stay healthy. It is also known that the most bacteria in the body is in the mouth and by scheduling regular cleanings with your hygienist and practicing good oral home care can keep these oral bacteria to a minimum.

*Next month: Gum Disease, Elderly Patients, and Pneumonia, common risk factors

Written by: Bernadette Kozak, IPDH

Fryeburg Family Dental

Contact: Fryeburg Family Dental