Bad teeth can be an early warning sign for heart diseases, claims a new study done in the U.S.
Oral infections that destroy teeth have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease by researchers who have been reviewing current literature. They say inflammation-causing oral diseases, including cavities and gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis, are associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Sharing the information, Thomas Van Dyke of the Forsyth Institute explained.
“Significant evidence supports an association between oral infections and stroke. Given the high prevalence of oral infections, any risk they contribute to future cardiovascular disease is important to public health.”
Why is bad oral health a risk-factor? Previous research has shown those with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease with cavities and missing teeth as good at indicating cardiovascular problems as cholesterol levels, continued Van Dyke.
“The majority of diseases and conditions of aging, including obesity and Type 2 diabetes, have a major inflammatory component that can be made worse by the presence of periodontitis. Periodontitis is not just a dental disease, and it should not be ignored, as it is a modifiable risk factor.”
A review of recent research strongly supports a link between mouth bacteria and inflammation in the heart, both of which could be controlled by the cholesterol-busting drug atorvastatin. Dr. Van Dyke found a high dose of the cholesterol-busting medication, which boosts blood levels of anti-inflammatory fats called lipoxins and resolvins, prevents gum and heart disease in humans – and even reverses it.
Apart from the medical impact, bad oral health and damaged teeth cannot process food which can significantly stress other organs in the digestive system, shared Family GP Dr Ian Campbell.
“We’ve recognized for some time that bad oral health carries a greater risk of heart disease. This was thought to be a direct consequence of poor diet and lifestyle being implicated in both. But this study suggests there is a much more specific link: inflammation. In the midst of everything else we can do to reduce the risk of heart disease keeping good dental health is important and easily achievable.”
Published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, the article summarizes the latest clinical evidence supporting a link between oral infections and heart disease.
It is surprising to see so many threats rooted deeply in our lives that may cause heart disease and strokes. Thankfully, regular brushing can significantly diminish the risks, assured the researchers.
[Image Credit | Rex Features]