Research has shown that the bacteria that cause gum disease could also be linked to heart disease. Although gum disease has been linked to many diseases in the past, this new discovery could lead to major changes in the methods used to diagnose and treat heart disease.
Currently, 46% of Americans are affected by gum disease, and heart disease is the leading cause of death in North America. Despite the fact that patients with gum disease have a higher risk of heart disease, gum disease is not typically considered to be risk factor for heart disease.
This research, along with many other studies, show that there is indeed a strong connection between oral and systemic health. Physicians and dentists can increase their awareness of the connection between oral bacterial infection and heart disease, thus considering a patient’s overall health.
As the healthcare system makes strides to improve patient well-being in the future, it will be important that all healthcare providers work together to monitor and maintain oral and overall health simultaneously.