More and more, periodontal disease, the leading cause of adult tooth loss, is also being implicated in seemingly unrelated medical conditions.
Recently, researchers examined 20 patients suffering from periodontal disease and atherosclerosis (clogging of the blood vessels to the heart that can eventually result in heart failure). In 13 of the 20 patients, they found that periodontal bacteria was present in the atherosclerotic plaque in the
Of the 20 patients examined, those with the more highly progressed and severe periodontal disease were the most likely to have periodontal bacteria in these vessels. This supports the possibility that as periodontal disease progresses deeper into the gum tissue, bacteria begins to enter the blood stream and travel throughout the body.
Though more research is needed to prove that periodontal bacteria has a causal role in the development of heart disease, periodontal disease is no longer considered an exclusively dental/oral problem.
2 Kerry Gutshall, What
Does Your Mouth Say About Your Heart?, (The American Academy of
Periodontology Press Release, February 13, 2007)
3 Responses to “Additional Research Correlating Heart Disease and Periodontitis”