Gum disease comes with its own host of consequences, but a recent study has found that it may also lead to some more serious health issues.
According to 9News.com, researchers in Sweden have discovered that those with advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, have a much higher risk of experiencing a heart attack.
During the study, researchers also learned that poor oral health can increase the risk of heart disease by up to 28%. In Australia, approximately 22% of people have some form of gum disease, making the research particularly prevalent to those Down Under.
“The bacteria that are causing advanced gum disease migrate into the blood stream and they circulate, causing a chronic inflammatory response,” said Axel Spahr, associate professor at the Sydney Dental Hospital.
Dentists have been championing the importance of routine visits to their offices for years, and this new study may persuade more people to be proactive about their oral health.
Professor Jamie Vandenberg of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute claims that dental professionals have known about the link between gum disease and heart complications for years. Now that this research has been introduced, dentists now have more information to help them find a solution.
“If we can understand how it is that chronic inflammation contributes to the cause of heart disease then we can try and design therapies to intervene in that process,” said Vandenberg.
According to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, an increased risk of heart issues isn’t the only reason that patients should seek immediate treatment for gum disease.
Research conducted by the University of Buffalo found that periodontal disease may also be linked with the onset of breast cancer, especially among women who smoke cigarettes.
Patients are already urged to visit their dentist at least twice a year, and those who suffer from gum disease may want to schedule a few more appointments with their dentist in 2016 in light of these studies.