The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular conditions has been much researched over the years in an attempt to finally confirm whether poor oral health effectively causes heart disease.
A clinical trial called STABILITY was recently carried out on 15,828 participants from 9 different countries, all with chronic coronary heart disease and, at least, one additional risk factor. Every participant completed a questionnaire which covered details of their lifestyle and dental health. The results, which were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, showed a high prevalence of tooth loss and gum bleeding, plus numerous links with cardiovascular disease and socioeconomic factors.
Conversely, a lower prevalence of tooth loss was associated to lower levels of cardiovascular risk, including lower levels of glucose, low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, systolic blood pressure and waist circumference.
Diabetes and smoking were also less prevalent among those patients with more teeth, whilst the level of education, alcohol intake and work stress were higher.
This study has undoubtedly been the largest study of its kind to assess dental disease in coronary patients and suggests that various factors are common in both dental/periodontal disease and coronary disease.
It is yet another important reminder of just how vital it is to take care of our teeth and gums to reduce the chance of developing dental decay, gum inflammation, oral infections and, indeed, other serious health problems.