Many scientific reports offer evidence that there is a link between Gum Disease (periodontal disease) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.

In fact, people with periodontal disease are up to two times more likely to have CVD, according to recent reports and research reviews. The reviews showed evidence that people with periodontitis are more likely to get CVD than those without, regardless of their other risk factors such as diabetes status, smoking or high blood pressure.


Consequently, people with periodontal disease should be aware that they may be more likely to suffer from CVD, and people suffering with CVD should be checked for periodontitis and be treated if necessary.


How does treating periodontal disease affect cardiovascular disease?

Existing evidence does not prove that treating periodontitis will prevent CVD. However, periodontitis causes inflammation inside the mouth, and evidence shows that inflammation inside the body can help us ascertain how healthy the heart and blood vessels are, even in the early stages of CVD.

Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Patients should expect to receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation from their dental professional at least once a year. This includes a detailed examination of the teeth and gums, and an assessment of risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, and overall health status. In addition, patients diagnosed with periodontal disease should be sure to inform their general health care provider and/or cardiologist to encourage better integration of their care.

There is no compelling evidence to support that treating periodontal disease will reduce cardiovascular disease at this time, but we do know that periodontal care will improve your oral health status, reduce systemic inflammation, and might be good for your heart as well.”

September 2017