Recent and Relevant Research
“Our study provides the first strong evidence that periodontal disease may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. This finding is of significance as it may provide some new insights into the mechanism of this highly fatal disease,” said Dr. Mitchaud , in the Jan 17 th 2007 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Published by the American Heart Association The Journal STROKE (1997,28:1724)
Chronic infections such as dental infections or chronic bronchitis may have more than double the risk of stroke. The findings are consistent with earlier reports of a link between chronic infections and atherosclerosis. A study reported at the University of North Carolina showed increased risk of heart disease and stroke in people with periodontal disease. (Beck, Garcia, Heiss, Offenbacher, Vokonas: J of Periodontology 67: 1123, 1996) People with heart disease of primary cardiac event are now being referred to their dentists to “get their mouth cleaned up”. Patients with frequent bouts of bronchitis in preceding two years have a greater risk of stroke and TIAS. In addition, those with poor dental status, linked to gum disease, were at a 2.6 times greater risk for stroke or TIAS. General dentists are reporting: Before, we could tell people to brush and floss or you might lose your teeth. But now we are saying Brush and floss, it could save your life.
Study: Inflammation Worst Heart Attack Risk Study pub in New England J of Medicine, Boston
A landmark study offers the strongest evidence yet that simmering, painless inflammation deep within the body is the single most powerful trigger of heart attacks, worse even than high cholesterol. The latest research is likely to encourage many doctors to make blood test for inflammation part of standard physical exams for middle-age people, especially those with other conditions that increase their risk of heart trouble. The study based on nearly 28,000 women , is by far the largest to look at inflammation’s role and it shows that those with high levels are twice as likely as those with high cholesterol to die from heart attacks and strokes. Over the past five years, research by Dr. Paul Ridker of Boston ‘s Brigham and Women’s Hospital has built the case for the “inflammation hypothesis.” With his latest study, many believe the evidence is overwhelming that inflammation is a central factor in cardiovascular disease, by far the world’s biggest killer. Inflammation is thought to weaken the fatty build-ups, or plaques, making them more likely to burst. A piece of plaque can then lead to a clot that can choke off the blood flow and cause a heart attack. Inflammation can be measured with a test that checks for C Re- active protein, or CRP dramatically. Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins also reduce CRP, as do aspirin and some other medicines. Doctors believe inflammation has many possible sources. Possible triggers include high blood pressure, smoking and lingering low-level infections, such as chronic gum disease.
Study: Gum Disease Raises Death Risk in Diabetics: Study findings suggest that severe gum disease may hasten death in people with diabetes Health News July 2003
“Diabetic people with periodontal disease had increased death rates due to cardiovascular disease and renal (kidney) failure, which are two major complications of type 2 diabetes,” said study author Dr. William C. Knowler. The findings underscore the need for good oral hygiene in diabetics are particularly prone to periodontitis, or gum disease, Knowler said in an interview with Reuters Health. Gum disease, characterized by red, swollen gums, is caused by a bacterial infection. And studies have indicated that infections and inflammation can promote blood-vessel damage in the heart and kidneys, said Knowler, chief of the diabetes and arthritis epidemiology section of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Phoenix . While gum disease might not be diagnosed until mid-life or later, infection with the bacteria that cause it can occur decades earlier. Combined with years of inadequate oral hygiene, infection can result in gingivitis, an early form of gum disease characterized by inflamed gums that often bleed easily. This form of the disease can usually be reversed with more careful brushing and flossing. But as the more aggressive periodontitis develops, the gums and bone surrounding the teeth can become seriously damaged, and teeth may loosen or fall out.
Findings presented at a recent meeting of the American Diabetes Association in New Orleans:
After adjusting for factors such as age, gender, duration of diabetes, obesity and cholesterol levels, the researchers found that diabetics with severe gum disease were TWICE as likely as those without it to die from either heart disease or kidney failure.
Journal of Periodontology, AAP August 2003
A study reported in the JOP, CRP values were compared before and after periodontal treatment. Researchers found that CRP values significantly decreased after periodontal treatment. Since the treatment of periodontitis in this study appears to be effective in reducing CRP levels, patients at risk for coronary heart disease may want to visit a periodontist to control their periodontitis.