No link between Gum Disease and Heart Disease, reports say
What do your gums have to do with your heart?
According to a new statement issued by the American Heart Association (AHA), there is no conclusive scientific evidence to link gum and heart health. Though numerous studies over the past few years have claimed that bad gums cause heart disease or stroke, the AHA committee of cardiologists, dentists and infectious diseases specialists reviewed about 500 journal articles and stated that there is no proof to link gum disease and heart disease. The American Dental Association agreed with the AHA statement, as well as the World Heart Federation endorsed it.
The AHA report also stated that there is no proof that treating gum disease can prevent heart disease or stroke. The expert committee mentioned that people with gum disease may not have heart disease but heart patients can certainly be affected by periodontal disease. The fact that both of these conditions share some common risk factors such as cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and age may very well be the reason for the potential link between these diseases reported by the researchers for the last 20 years. According to the AHA study, the common risk factors to both diseases were not taken into account by the previous studies, which showed a strong connection between gum disease and cardiovascular complications.
The committee member Dr. Peter Lockhart said, "The message sent out by some health care professionals—heart attack and stroke are directly linked to gum disease—can distort the facts, alarm patients and perhaps shift the focus on prevention away from well-known risk factors for these diseases." In the statement published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal, a team of cardiologists, dentists and infectious-disease experts concluded that there are plenty of good reasons to take care of oral health but protecting against heart disease does not turn out to be one among them.
The doctor's advice still holds as to brushing teeth twice a day, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, which will reduce the risk of gum disease, heart attack, and stroke.