Indicates need for patients to balance oral health with other cardiovascular risk factors
New research is reinforcing the longstanding belief that a connection exists between periodontal disease, or severe gum inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. But according to Moise Desvarieux, MD, PhD, infectious disease epidemiologist in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia Universitys Mailman School of Public Health, the nature of the relationship is still unclear and patients cannot rely only on good oral hygiene as a way to reduce their risk for heart disease--they must manage other risk factors for the disease as well.
"It appears a relationship exists, but we dont know exactly what it is and if it is a causal relationship.Therefore, we cant make recommendations for people with periodontal disease in respect to cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Desvarieux, whose team studies periodontal disease in relation to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, "To reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease, patients must manage all their risk factors, including smoking, diabetes, and weight."
Stephanie Berger | EurekAlert!
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