Teeth Implants Specialist in Chicago: Shocking Link Between Tooth Loss and Heart Disease!

  • Added:
    Apr 04, 2013
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Teeth Implants Specialist in Chicago: Shocking Link Between Tooth Loss and Heart Disease! Photo by Rooden Salle

Losing teeth comes with a whole variety of terrible consequences: your ability to manage all the foods you love becomes compromised and your self-esteem and confidence become crippled by your “gappy” smile. But did you know that tooth loss and gum disease – the dominant cause of rampant tooth loss – are linked with something far more serious than social embarrassment and difficulty eating? According to the findings of a recent international study, people who suffer from gum disease are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. Your appointment with the Specialist on Teeth Implants in Chicago just became a visit with your cardiovascular surgeon as well!

About the Study and its Findings

Researchers, who analyzed data collected from 16,000 subjects in over 35 countries, conducted a large international study on the link between tooth loss and heart disease. This data included the number of teeth lost and the frequency with which they would experience bleeding gums, usually after brushing or eating hard, crunchy foods. It was found that:

• 40% of the subjects had less than 15 of their original adult teeth remaining,
• 16% were completely edentulous (had lost all of their adult teeth), and
• 25% reported suffering frequent gum bleeds.

It was found that subjects with fewer teeth had greater levels of enzymes that promote hardening of the arteries and inflammation. Those who had lost more of their teeth also tended to present with typical heart disease risk factors, including a greater waist size (obesity), high blood pressure and sugar and greater LDL cholesterol levels (the “bad” cholesterol). Furthermore, researchers found that for every increment in tooth loss (based upon pre-determined parameters) a subject was 11% more likely to have diabetes.

Other findings included:

• Being a smoker (past and present) is linked to gum disease and tooth loss,
• Higher blood pressure and levels of bad cholesterol share a relationship with gum bleeds, as does gum disease. 

What Does this Mean?

Heart disease and its related risk factors (high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity) have been linked with tooth loss and periodontal (gum) disease.

“The findings presented in this research study confirm what has been understood by dental healthcare professionals for many, many years,” says a Chicago dental implant specialist. “While this particular study was only recently presented and is yet to be peer-reviewed, it may be safe to say that there is a definite relationship between heart disease and gum disease and that those whose who suffer from one are at a greater risk of suffering from the other.”

“The exact mechanisms of this relationship are unclear, but there are some theories,” says the Specialist on Teeth Implants in Chicago. “Some believe these two conditions to be independent, but share common risk factors. Others suspect a casual relationship to exist with theories ranging from systemic inflammation to oral bacteria invading the plaque found in the coronary arteries.”

The Take-Home Message

Regardless of the exact nature of the relationship between heart disease and gum disease, one thing is crystal clear: an unhealthy mouth is linked with an unhealthy body. Good oral hygiene and regularly scheduled appointments with the dentist and oral hygienist are as important to whole-body health as exercise and healthy eating.

Author's Profile

New Teeth Chicago offer patient’s state of the art, far more sophisticated and long term solutions with Teeth Implants Chicago. Rooden Salle is an associate of Chicago Dental Implant Center: “New Teeth Chicago”.


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