We are constantly bombarded with statistics and new information on how to improve our heart health and reduce our risk of heart attack or stroke. We hear numbers about LDL and HDL and how to eat healthy. A recent study from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) has found an association between dental health and cardiovascular risk. Taking care of oral health with strong dental hygiene habits and regular dental check ups is tied to heart health. Your Rochester dentists, Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer, now discuss the results of this large study.
Gum Disease is a Potential Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease
More than 15,000 patients with chronic coronary heart disease described their dental health, and the results of the study revealed that signs of gum disease were frequently found in patients who also possessed heart disease. Signs of gum disease included missing teeth and bleeding gums. The same was true for patients with lower incidences of tooth loss. If they demonstrated lower incidences of tooth loss, they also possessed lower levels of cardiovascular risk factors.
Largest Study of Its Kind
The authors of the study said that because this study is the largest study of its kind, researchers can now investigate further if patients’ descriptions of their oral health can be viewed as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The scientists in the study considered the impact of age, smoking, diabetes, and education level on patients’ likelihood of developing heart disease, but the results still show that patients will possess more cardiovascular risk factors if they also experience tooth loss or gum bleeding. The researchers found that gum disease and socioeconomic status are closely linked as well.
Smoking Also Related to Gum Disease
The study also revealed a strong association between smoking and lower levels of education with gum disease. Overall, the authors of this study believe there is some kind of relationship between self-reported dental health and cardiovascular risk, and the relationship could suggest that gum disease is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, more research is needed before scientists can definitively show that gum disease can cause heart disease or heart disease can cause gum disease.
Dental Check ups
Home brushing and flossing can only do so much, and that is why Dr. Calcagno and Dr. Heimer recommend coming in for a dental cleaning every six months. At each dental check up and cleaning, your doctors will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, checking for signs of gum disease and treating it accordingly.
About Our Doctors
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Calcagno Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, please call our Rochester office at (507) 218-8936. Dr. Calcagno and Dr. Heimer welcome and treat patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and the surrounding communities.