New Study Confirms Link Between Gum Disease and Increased Risk of Heart Disease

Dental restorationDental experts have known of a potential link between gum disease and heart disease for decades, but a new study conducted worldwide has finally confirmed the frightening correlation.

According to the Bucks Country Courier Times, Uppsala University in Sweden surveyed over 16,000 people in 39 different countries over four years to reach a conclusion that there is, in fact, a direct link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular problems.

The researchers findings authenticated a long-held belief in the dental community that gum disease has a comprehensive effect on one’s health. In basic terms, they concluded that the fewer teeth a person had, the more likely they were to suffer from a fatal heart attack or stroke.

Dentists strongly urge patients to brush and floss on a consistent basis to avoid gum disease. They stress the importance of early intervention when gum disease, formally known as gingivitis is still in its primary stages.

According to the Portland Tribune, dental professionals put even more of an emphasis on good oral health habits as patients grow older. To keep their natural teeth, those in their golden years are encouraged to take positive daily steps towards protecting their smile.

“If you want to try to avoid implants, dentures, and systemic medical problems, prevention and education are very important — especially as you reach midlife and after,” said Trish Kerr Laufenberg, a Portland dental patient in her early 70s.

Experts also suggest that patients seek regular dental visits as gum disease can often develop without glaring symptoms or pain. Visiting the dentist twice a year will enable one to begin early intervention treatment if gingivitis is detected.

Based on the study’s findings, those who have pre-existing heart conditions should be even more diligent in maintaining their oral hygiene to avoid further complications.