In a new study, researchers found a clear link between gum disease periodontis, artery calcification, and heart disease.
Consequently, researchers are stressing the importance of dental and health care services to work more closely together.
The research was conducted by a team at Malmö University.
The purpose of the study is to identify the need for care in the older population over time.
The team found that people with periodontis are more likely to develop heart disease and also have an increased risk of dying.
The team focused on the relationship between artery disease atherosclerosis and gum disease periodontis and whether calcifications seen on X-rays over a period of 13 years are linked to the onset of stroke and heart disease.
They also examined whether individuals with periodontitis were at greater risk of having an event of ischemic stroke or death during a follow-up period of 17 years.
For this purpose, people aged 60 and over and living in the Karlskrona area, the only location where SNAC monitored dental services, were included in the study.
Using dental X-rays, the team examined the presence of calcifications and the bone level around the teeth
They found older people with periodontitis are at increased risk of dying compared to people without periodontitis; those with the disease are more likely to have calcification of the carotid artery; calcification of the carotid artery is linked to cardiovascular diseases; people with periodontitis are at increased risk for ischemic heart diseases over time.
The team cannot emphasize enough the importance of dentists carefully analyzing any panoramic X-rays taken.
The inflammation that occurs in connection with periodontitis can lead to fat deposits and plaque in other arteries of the body.
According to the study, the mouth is a vital part of our body. Dental and health care services must, therefore, work more closely together.
When calcification is detected by X-ray, the patient must be informed and referred to the health care services for further investigation.
One author of the study is doctoral student Viveca Wallin Bengtsson.
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