The Relationship Between Periodontal Disease and Increased Risk of Heart Problems

On April 22, the American Heart Association published an article on whether there is an independent association between periodontal disease and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease. Our practice is located in the Montclair area where we treat periodontal disease. so this article was of concern to us. The article has been excerpted by various news media in a way that could be misleading to the public.  The article reviewed over 500 articles relating periodontal disease to heart disease. They did find that there is a correlation, but not a direct causal relationship between periodontal disease and heart disease. It did support that periodontal disease does contribute to inflammation in the body and that treatment of periodontal disease does result in a reduction of inflammation in the body.

There are 2 main types of research; correlative and causal. A causal study shows cause and effect. A correlative study shows that a larger number of people who have certain condition also have another problem. Both types are valid. The news media failed to distinguish this differential and drew conclusions that there is no relationship between periodontal and heart disease.

While there is no direct biological cause effect relationship between periodontal disease and heart disease, there is a strong coordination showing an increase risk of heart disease for patients with periodontal disease. So in the interest of your general health, getting periodontal treatment is a wise move. It is a shame that the media projects a negative report on such an important subject. Not only will improving your periodontal health reduce your systemic issues, but lessen the need for tooth and bone loss.


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