LONDON:- The next person who reminds you to floss might be your cardiologist instead of your dentist, for a new study has revealed a link between inflamed gums and heart disease.
Scientists have known for some time that a protein associated with inflammation called CRP is elevated in people who are at risk for heart disease. But exactly where is the inflammation coming from?
Well, researchers have found that infected gums may be one place. Indeed, proper dental hygiene should reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, stroke or heart disease independently of other measures, such as managing cholesterol.
“It has been long suspected that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory process, and that periodontal disease plays a role in atherosclerosis.
“Our study suggests that this is the case, and indicates that something as simple as taking good care of your teeth and gums can greatly reduce your risk of developing serious diseases,” lead author Mario Clerici said.
In their study, the researchers from Britain and Italy examined the carotid arteries of 35 healthy people (median age 46) with mild to moderate periodontal disease before and after having their periodontal disease treated.
One year after treatment, they found that a reduction in oral bacteria, immune inflammation and the thickening of the blood vessels was associated with atherosclerosis.