Research found association of Gum & Heart disease

Gum disease or periodontitis is found to be genetically linked with heart disease. The team of University of Kiel has found a common gene mutation in people with gum disease & heart attack patients. Dr. Arne Schaefer said that gum disease or periodontitis should be taken very seriously & should be treated as early as possible.



Both gum disease & coronary heart disease are associated with the same factors like smoking, diabetes & obesity. They found the bacteria that in the oral cavity are similar to those found in coronary plaques. Both diseases are erupted due to an imbalanced immune reaction & chronic inflammation.

The bacteria involved in gum disease trigger a low grade inflammatory response throughout the body. The inflammatory response cause prompting changes in the arteries that leads to stroke & heart attack. Another possibility is that bacteria disturb the way blood vessels dilate directly because some bacteria can enter the bloodstream.

Dr Arne Schaefer said his team has found the gene linking the condition on chromosome 9. It had already been associated with heart attack but in the latest study was found both in a group of 1097 patients with heart disease & 151 patients with the most aggressive early onset forms of periodontitis or gum disease.

The genetic variation was identical in both diseases & the researchers confirmed the association in further groups of 1,100 coronary heart disease patients & 180 periodontitis or gum disease patients. Although it is known what protein the gene encodes it is not yet clear how this is linked with the conditions.

“Now we know for sure that there is a strong genetic link, patients with periodontitis should try to reduce their risk factors and take preventive measures at an early stage”, said Dr Schaefer. He further said that they hope their findings will make it easier to diagnose the disease at an early stage & that in future a greater insight into the specific pathophysiology might open the way to effective treatment before the disease can take hold.

The finding has shown the association between gum disease & coronary heart disease so periodontitis should be taken very seriously by dentists & should be diagnosed & treated as early as possible.

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