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More Research Linking Heart and Gum Disease

Research is consistently underway regarding whether or not bacteria in your mouth (the same ones that cause gum disease and tooth decay) can travel into your body and cause other systemic health issues. One recent study at the University of Florida shows distinct data regarding the fact that the same bacteria which cause gum disease also promote heart disease. The more proof scientists can uncover regarding this matter, the closer we can get to better preventions and treatments for oral-systemic conditions.

Periodontal Disease Epidemic

The scientist reported their findings recently at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. The data was reported by Irina M. Velsko, a graduate student in the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. Velsko says,”We report evidence that introduction of oral bacteria into the bloodstream in mice increased risk factors for atherosclerotic heart disease. Our hope is that the American Heart Association will acknowledge causal links between oral disease and increased heart disease. That will change how physicians diagnose and treat heart disease patients.” Heart disease is known to be the leading cause of adult fatalities in North America. Periodontal (gum) disease affects 46% of the American population.

Study on Gum Disease Germs

Many other studies over the years have made a connection between heart disease and gum disease. In fact, the American Heart Association published a statement saying that they support the association between gum disease and heart disease back in 2012. In the study, the same bacteria which cause gum disease were exposed to mice orally. The mouse gums, hearts, and aortas showed inflammation increases. Cholesterol levels were also raised in the rodents. Kesavalu Lakshmyya in the University of Florida’s Department of Periodontology in the College of Dentistry implemented the research, noting that “In Western medicine there is a disconnect between oral health and general health in the rest of the body. Dentistry is a separate field of study from Medicine. The mouth is the gateway to the body and our data provides one more piece of a growing body of research that points to direct connections between oral health and systemic health.”


At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.