Oral hygiene contributes to a healthy heart

06 March 2019
2 min read

Representatives from the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) and the World Heart Federation (WHF) reviewed the evidence linking cardiovascular diseases and periodontitis to prepare joint recommendations for health professionals and patients. 

“Both periodontitis and cardiovascular disease affect many people worldwide. Determining the importance of periodontal disease prevention and therapy as a means to reduce cardiovascular risk can have significant public health and economic implications,” said Professor Mariano Sanz, EFP chair of the event.

Professor Pablo Perel, WHF senior science adviser, said, “More awareness is needed of the link between oral health and cardiovascular disease.  The Perio and Cardio workshop has provided evidence-based recommendations in relation to cardiovascular health and periodontology. Since cardiovascular disease is the first cause of death in the world, reducing risk factors that contribute to heart disease is of utmost importance.”

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally, while severe periodontitis is the sixth most common chronic condition. Evidence suggests that patients with severe gum disease are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke, particularly if they have had a previous cardiovascular event. Bacteria in the mouth can move into the circulatory system and promote inflammation and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Periodontitis and heart disease also share common risk factors including smoking, alcohol consumption, age and diabetes.

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