Having Teeth Professionally Cleaned May Reduce the Risk of Heart Attacks or Strokes

The findings of two new studies were recently presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida and reinforce the links between periodontal disease and the risk for cardiovascular disease and strokes.

Researchers have found that patients who had their teeth professionally cleaned and scaled at regular intervals were at a reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes. The research was based on a nationwide study which took place over a seven-year period. Dr Emily Chen and Dr Hsin-Bang Leu examined data on 51,000 adults who had their teeth professionally cleaned on at least one occasion against a similar sized group who had never had their teeth professionally cleaned. Neither group had a history of heart attacks or strokes. The study showed those participants whose teeth were professionally cleaned at regular intervals had a 24% lower risk of heart attack and a 13% lower risk of stroke compared to those people who did not have their teeth professionally cleaned.

Another study in Sweden found that the type of periodontal disease could help predict the degree of risk for cardiovascular disease and strokes. In a study of nearly 8,000 participants who were suffering from some form of gum disease. They found that the type of gum disease could help predict the participant’s risk for strokes, congestive heart failure and heart attacks. The study showed that participants who had less than 21 teeth remaining were at a 69% higher risk of suffering a heart attack compared to participants who still had most of their teeth. The study also took into account the depth of periodontal pockets and found those with the deepest pockets were at 53% higher risk of suffering from a heart attack compared to those whose infection was limited. Those patients with the fewest remaining teeth were at 2.5 times the risk of suffering from congestive heart failure compared to those with the most teeth. Those patients suffering from the highest incidence of bleeding gums were at a 2.1 increased risk of suffering a stroke compared to those whose gums were bleeding the least.

The message seems pretty clear. If you want to lessen your risk of suffering from a stroke or developing cardiovascular disease, it’s best not to ignore those six monthly reminders from your dental professional.


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