MOUTH AND HEART HEALTH
ANCHOR LEAD: PLAQUE BUILDUP ON THE TEETH HAS BODY-WIDE CONSEQUENCES, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The relationship between mouth health and heart health is getting stronger and stronger, with the latest study showing that people whose gums and teeth are treated aggressively have better blood flow than those who don’t adding more evidence. Tony Schwartz, a dentist at Johns Hopkins, says the problem is global.
SCHWARTZ: I believe that periodontal disease is the most prevalent disease in the world. There is a genetic component to it, so people need to be more concerned if their parents have lost teeth to periodontal disease. Certainly the take home message from this study is do your teeth some good and do your heart some good. We’ve always suspected there was some link, and that link has become stronger and stronger over the past decade. We realize that endothelial function, that is, blood flow though vessels is affected by inflammation, and there’s probably no where else in the body that gets more inflamed for most people than their gingiva, their gums. :32
Previous research has shown that simply reducing markers of inflammation by other means doesn’t work. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.