The link between periodontitis and heart failure

Through: Kevin Henry

A new study has given dental professionals another reason to talk to their patients about the importance of maintaining their oral health to maintain and even improve their overall health.

This study was released in early July in one of the Magazines of the American College of Cardiology and discusses the impact of periodontitis, commonly known as gingivitis, on heart failure.

While the link between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease has been discussed before, this is the first study to summarize how an unhealthy mouth can lead to heart failure.

Research into how an unhealthy mouth can lead to heart failure

More than 6,700 patients were studied as part of this groundbreaking study.

of this group, 1,178 cases of heart failure occurred and periodontitis was confirmed to cause an “increased risk” of heart failure in those cases.

In addition, as an interesting side note, 18% of the 1,178 heart failure cases were edentulous (people with a lack of teeth).

Researchers pointed to edentulism as “associated with adverse change” in several key areas, leading researchers to wonder how patients without teeth could still have periodontal disease that could eventually affect their hearts.

In-depth discussion of periodontitis and heart failure

Tom Viola, RPHknown as an expert on dentistry, discussed this study in detail in a recent episode of the Dental Assistant Nation podcast, powered by IgniteDA.

You can listen to the episode hereas I, the host of Dental Assistant Nation, go in-depth with Viola on the impact of this study and what it really means for dental professionals and their patients.

One thing is certain, however. This research gives dentists, hygienists and dental assistants another chance to tell their patients about the importance of oral health and its impact on the heart and so many other parts of the body.

It is further proof of the oral-systemic link and reinforces the relationship that should exist between the worlds of dentistry and medicine.

photo by Karolina Grabowskac

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