Gum disease :: Healthy gums helps avoid arteriosclerosis

New York researchers suggest preventing gum disease might significantly improve a person’s chances of avoiding vascular problems.

The study, published in the journal Circulation, suggests people with gum disease are more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis — a narrowing of blood vessels that can lead to stroke or heart attack.

The researchers found people with a higher level of the specific bacteria that causes periodontal disease also had an increased carotid artery thickness, even after taking other cardiovascular risk factors into account.

“This is the most direct evidence yet that gum disease may lead to stroke or cardiovascular disease,” said lead author Dr. Moise Desvarieux of Columbia University Medical Center’s Mailman School of Public Health. “And because gum infections are preventable and treatable, taking care of your oral health could very well have a significant impact on your cardiovascular health.”

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