Experts Dispel Link between Gum Disease and Heart Problems
Scientists said yesterday that gum disease is not linked to heart problems and described any link that has been previously identified as “coincidental.”
A panel of thirteen researchers in the USA claimed that there was no evidence to suggest that gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and strokes, as previously suggested by numerous studies.
The panel reviewed around 500 scientific studies and concluded that people with gum disease may be more likely to develop heart problems, but this is purely coincidental and largely down to the fact that both diseases have similar risk factors, including smoking and drinking.
Research has previously suggested that people who have gum disease are up to twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease, but Professor Peter Lockhart, co-chairman of the expert panel, said that if there was a major causative link, this would have been identified now and added that many of the articles offer conflicting conclusions.
Professor Lockhart said that it was more likely that people suffered from both gum and heart disease as a result of lifestyle factors. He suggested that some people are a lot more “proactive” about their health and those who are less concerned with their general health are probably less likely to bother with oral health.
Natasha Stewart, from the British Heart Foundation, said that good oral hygiene in addition to regular exercise and a healthy diet, were key to enjoying good heart health.
Professor Nairn Wilson, from the British Dental Association, said that despite the confusion, it is certain that a good oral hygiene routine, healthy eating habits and attending regular dental check-ups, contribute to good health and wellbeing.
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