Teeth loss linked to heart attacks, high cholesterol and diabetes

A new study links fewer teeth and bleeding gums with a range of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Losing your teeth could be a signal that you are at a higher risk of suffering heart disease and diabetes, warn researchers.

Previously, researchers found a link between poor dental hygiene and bleeding gums. This is because the bleeding could allow up to 700 different types of bacteria to get into the bloodstream. This can increase the risk of a heart attack regardless of how fit and healthy the person is. in turn gum disease causes bad breath, bleeding gums and, if untreated, cavities, receding gums and tooth loss after bacteria or plaque settles between teeth and under the gum-line.

In the first study of its type, carried out at Uppsala University, Sweden, researchers looked at patients with chronic coronary heart disease taking part in a drugs trial and examined their dental health. hey were able to link gm disease and poor dental hygiene to chronic health problems including heart disease, thought to be caused by inflammation into the bloodstream.

The research found that for every fall in the number of teeth recorded, the study found increasing levels of an enzyme that increases inflammation and promotes hardening of the arteries. They also discovered that other cardiac risk markers also went up as the number of teeth dropped, including ‘bad’ cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and waist circumference.

It was also noted that patients with fewer teeth also had more chance of developing diabetes and that bleeding gums were associated with higher levels of bad cholesterol and blood pressure.

The experts concluded that getting gum disease treated with a dental check-up every year and treatment for periodontal disease may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Article source: Daily Mail 23rd March 2013