Can periodontal disease increase my risk of heart disease and other conditions?
Rekha Chauvan, Mumbai
Although the connection between heart disease, stroke and gum disease has not been conclusively proved, there is very strong evidence that there is a connection between them. Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease, and that risk may be even greater for those with high blood cholesterol. Doctors suspect that the link between the two diseases is due to the same bacteria. In this scenario, bacteria found in the infected gum tissue around the teeth break down the barrier between the gums and the underlying connective tissue, causing inflammation. During normal chewing or brushing, bacteria can enter the blood stream and move to the other parts of the circulatory system, contributing to the formation of cardiovascular disease. By keeping your mouth clean and preventing gum disease, you can reduce the incidence of stroke and heart disease which then improves the quality and longevity of life.
Dr Mahesh Lalwani, Dental Surgeon