Curing Gum Disease Means Curing Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease or cardiovascular disease are the class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (arteries and veins). While the term technically refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system (as used in MeSH C14), it is usually used to refer to those related to atherosclerosis (arterial disease). These conditions usually have similar causes, mechanisms, and treatments.
 
Cardiovascular diseases remain the biggest cause of deaths worldwide, though over the last two decades, cardiovascular mortality rates have declined in many high-income countries but have increased at an astonishingly fast rate in low- and middle-income countries. The percentage of premature deaths from cardiovascular disease range from 4% in high-income countries to 42% in low-income countries. More than 17 million people died from cardiovascular diseases in 2008. Each year, heart disease kills more Americans than cancer. In recent years, cardiovascular risk in women has been increasing and has killed more women than breast cancer. (PDAY) showed vascular injury accumulates from adolescence, making primary prevention efforts necessary from childhood.
 
By the time that heart problems are detected, the underlying cause (atherosclerosis) is usually quite advanced, having progressed for decades. There is therefore increased emphasis on preventing atherosclerosis by modifying risk factors, such as healthy eating, exercise, and avoidance of smoking.
 
The Journal of Dental Research has just published the results of a study showing that treatment of gum disease may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 
 
Researchers from Australia (Sydney Dental Hospital and Royal North Shore Hospital) and Norway (University of Oslo) collaborated in the PERICAR clinical trial, providing strong evidence linking periodontal (gum) disease to an increased risk of developing blood clots, which could lead to the onset of heart attack and stroke. 
 
Although these results are exciting they do not yet provide proof of a direct link and more research is needed. With grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and the Ramaciotti Foundation, the researchers are currently studying the relationship between gum and heart disease in people with less severe periodontal disease who do not need to have all their teeth extracted. 
 
Dental disease impacts on people's general health and well-being. Periodontal disease is common, preventable, and treatable. This study suggests that improving periodontal health could significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 
 
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