Gum disease -- it raises the risk of heart disease and stroke, doesn't it? We’ve long been told there’s a link. But here’s a statement put out Wednesday by the American Heart Assn.:
“Keeping teeth and gums healthy is important for your overall health,” the heart association’s statement begins. “However, an American Heart Association expert committee -- made up of cardiologists, dentists and infectious diseases specialists -- found no conclusive scientific evidence that gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, causes or increases the rates of cardiovascular diseases. Current data don't indicate whether regular brushing and flossing or treatment of gum disease can cut the incidence of atherosclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes.”
You can read the whole statement at the AHA website.
Knock me down with a feather. (Next scientists will be telling us that fish oil doesn’t help prevent heart attacks in people with heart disease ... Oh wait, they just did.)
The statement, which comes after a review of 500 journal articles and studies, notes that there have been a lot of population studies that suggest a link between poor oral health and poor heart health, meaning people who have gum disease are also more likely than the Average Joe to have heart disease as well. And vice versa.