News Article


Heart Disease & Stroke

They say that the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Well let’s just think about the mouth too. Research has shown links from gum disease to heart disease and strokes.

Gum disease usually starts with a gradual build up of plaque (the sticky coating made up of food and bacteria) that can lead to irritation of the gums, bleeding and gingivitis.

Research at New York State University shows that treating periodontal disease (swollen gums) with simple scaling and root planing and antibiotic gels can significantly lower the levels of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, both of which are associated with a high risk of heart disease.

Another study from Sydney Dental Hospital showed that when dentists removed teeth of around 70 patients with advanced forms of gum disease, they found a large drop in the levels of the same compounds associated with heart disease.
It’s thought that the periodontal bacteria associated with gum disease may get into the bloodstream and travel to major organs where they begin new infections. There are also suggestions that the bacteria that cause gum disease could also increase the rate at which arteries become blocked.

Research also suggests that there may be a similar significant risk of stroke. Studies have found that women with antibodies to P. gingivalsi (the organism most associated with periodontal disease) were twice as likely to have a stroke.