Researchers in Taiwan are considering gum disease to be a risk factor for heart attack after a 10-year nationwide study.
The results, which were published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, suggest that not only is periodontal disease a significant risk factor for heart attack, but also that prophylactic dental treatment “protects against AMI [acute myocardial infarction] development,” even after adjusting for comorbidities.
“Patients who receive regular prophylactic dental treatment are more likely to have healthier periodontal conditions and less likely to have systemic chronic inflammatory reactions, resulting in a lower IR of AMI.”
Recent research has also linked periodontal disease with heart attacks. Earlier this year, researchers noted that the severity of periodontal disease might be an accurate predictor of severity of future heart attacks. Oral bacteria have even been linked with post-heart attack complications.
Because periodontal disease, the bacteria that cause it, and the resulting inflammation do not stay in the mouth, it makes sense that periodontal disease is associated with increased heart attack risk.
Given the inflammatory nature of these two conditions, it makes sense that anyone wishing to lower their risk for heart problems would address any oral health issues in addition to adopting heart-healthy lifestyle habits.