Medical doctors and dental health care professionals have debated for years over the connection between gum disease and heart disease. While there still is no unanimous consensus on whether there is a link, or to the extent to any link, several studies offer some interesting insight into the possible correlations that may prove that there are some common factors that point to a likely relationship between the two.
Dr. Simone Ricketts reported on the findings of an Australian study of 80 patients that was published in a recent magazine article. That study showed that 70% of the patients who participated in the study and needed heart transplants also had gum disease. She noted that other studies show a similar pattern, indicating that patients who needed heart transplants or other cardiac surgery procedures, were more likely to have dental problems.
It isn't just heart disease that experts are linkng to periodontal disease, however. More and more evidence is showing that many chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes can be linked to gum disease. Poor oral hygiene resulting in gum disease was evident in blood tests that showed postive markers for inflammation.
Although more continued research will be needed to exactly identify the true link between gum disease and coronary damage, patients need to understand the true importance of taking care of their mouths and doing whatever is necessary to ensure or support their overall circulatory system health - even if there is no guarantee that doing so will prevent either disease.