Heart disease: Doctor explains how to reduce risk
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Heart disease includes conditions that narrow or block blood vessels (coronary heart disease). This can lead to a heart attack, angina and some strokes. Heart disease also covers conditions that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or cause abnormal rhythms.
A person’s poor oral hygiene may be increasing their risk.
A University of Birmingham study found that gum disease correlated to a 37 percent increase in mental health problems, 33 percent increased risk of developing autoimmune disorders and 18 percent risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The risks of metabolic disorders varied, with a rate of seven percent that spiked to 26 percent when looking only at type 2 diabetes.
Co-first author Dr Joht Singh Chadan said: “Poor oral health is extremely common, both here in the UK and globally.
“When oral ill-health progresses, it can lead to a substantially reduced quality of life.
“However, until now, not much has been known about the association of poor oral health and many chronic diseases, particularly mental ill-health.
“We found evidence that periodontal disease appears to be associated with an increased risk of developing these associated chronic diseases.”
Another study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, found that people with untreated tooth infections are 2.7 times more likely to have cardiovascular problems, such as coronary artery disease, than patients who have had treatment of dental infections.
With cardiovascular diseases being a contributor to an estimated 30 percent of all deaths globally, leading health charity the Oral Health Foundation, stresses the importance of better oral health including regular dental visits, especially if we are experiencing toothache, sensitivity or bleeding gums.
Speaking on the issue Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “This research is very worrying as tooth infections are initially caused by tooth decay which is triggered by poor oral hygiene routines and a diet high in sugar.
“The major signs of root infection (usually known as a dental abscess) include pain, often when biting down on the tooth, and sometimes swelling.
“The tooth may also become discoloured.
“But sometimes infection does not immediately present with these symptoms and can go undetected for some time.”
Over the years, many studies have found people with gum disease are more likely to also have poor heart health, including heart attacks.
If left untreated, gum disease (or periodontitis) can also increase the risk of all sorts of health conditions including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even dementia.
This is due to harmful mouth bacteria or the infection in the gum entering the bloodstream and affecting the body.
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