Smile: Teeth May Tell Heart’s Future

 

October 3, 2006

A new study in Denmark links healthy teeth and gums with heart health.

Theheart.org reports that Danish investigators have observed an increased risk of coronary heart disease among adults with periodontal disease. In adults 60 years old or younger —with more than 4 mm of alveolar bone loss, as measured by clinical radiography —a significant sixfold increase in the risk of coronary heart disease was documented.

"I think that if we see patients that have periodontal disease, we should tell them that the chronic inflammation in the periodontal tissue might influence their general health status, including coronary heart disease," senior investigator Dr. Palle Holmstrup (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) told heartwire. "At this point, we think it has a significant impact on coronary heart disease, but the causal relationship and the extent to which we can eliminate an increased risk of heart disease based on periodontal health are not yet established."

The results of the study are published in the September 2006 issue of the Journal of Periodontology.