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The Link Between Gum and Heart Disease

First, let’s start by distinguishing Gingivitis, Gum Disease and Periodontitis.

There is a scientific report at the end of the page.

What is the difference between Gingivitis, Gum Disease and Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease. It begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end, if not properly treated, with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth.

Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes periodontitis (gum disease).

What is the Link Between Periodontitis and Heart Disease

Both periodontitis and cardiovascular diseases are common, widely spread, chronic non-communicable diseases, whose prevalence increases with age. There is scientific evidence of associations between the two forms of disease and periodontitis is associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke.

Patients with gum disease should be told that they have a higher risk of suffering cardiovascular diseases – including myocardial infarction and stroke – and that they should actively manage risk factors such as smoking, lack of exercise, excess weight, blood pressure, and a diet high in saturated fats and refined sugars.

Patients who suffer from both periodontitis and cardiovascular disease may have a higher risk of cardiovascular complications and should carefully follow recommended dental regimes of prevention, treatment, and maintenance.

Both cardiovascular and gum diseases are widespread chronic, non-communicable diseases. Periodontitis, the most frequent gum disease, has an overall global prevalence of 45-50%, and its severe form affects 11.2% of the world’s population, making it the sixth most common human condition. Cardiovascular disease is responsible for 17.9 million deaths per year worldwide (one-third of all deaths), including 3.9 million in Europe (45% of all deaths), with ischaemic heart disease, stroke, and hypertension leading to heart failure as the main causes. Although mortality rates are falling, the absolute numbers have increased over the last 25 years because of an ageing population.

Scientific Report

There is strong epidemiological evidence that periodontitis increases the risk of future atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to the consensus report of the Perio-Cardio Workshop, an expert meeting held in February 2019 and organised jointly by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) and the World Heart Federation (WHF). This consensus report – originally published in the EFP’s Journal of Clinical Periodontology and the WHF’s Global Heart in February 2020 – forms the basis of the recommendations of the Perio & Cardio campaign.

The full article can be found here, and it was published by the European Federation of Periodontology and the World Heart Federation.

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