Oral Health and Heart Disease are Related

In an extensive cohort study, carried out by the University of Helsinki (Finland) in collaboration with The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), an association was found between tooth loss and future cardiovascular events, diabetes and death. Further, as the study found, advanced tooth loss can often indicate that a person has a history of inflammatory oral diseases.

For some time now, the Dental Health Blog has been informing you of the direct relationship between oral health and body health. Now, with the findings from the study mentioned above, we have an even more solid indication of the strong association between tooth loss and heart disease, as well as diabetes and mortality rates.

Tooth loss and increased mortality rates

Non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, are the most common cause of death worldwide. They are known to associate with inflammatory oral diseases, such as periodontitis or, what is commonly referred to simply as gum disease. Now we discover that the link between gum disease and heart disease may be even stronger than supposed.

The results of the study are unsettling:

  • More than five missing teeth increased the risk for coronary heart disease events and myocardial infarctions by as much as 140 %.
  • More than nine missing teeth indicated an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (51 %), diabetes (31 %), and death (37 %).

Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease in the tooth-supporting tissues, which appears as gingival bleeding, increased tooth mobility, and deepened periodontal pockets. It may result in the loss of teeth if left untreated and it is the most common cause of tooth loss in the middle-aged and elderly.

As research continues into the link between oral health and serious diseases, and the increasingly obvious connection between them, we can only stress the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth throughout your lifetime.

The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all of your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.

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