Winter, more heart disease, more blood pressure, more heart attacks, more paralysis. Its time to go to not only to your cardiologists but also to your dentist as in middle-aged adults, gum disease goes hand in hand with the metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, paralysis and diabetes — including high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high blood sugar, low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides (another type of blood fat). The syndrome is usually diagnosed when a person has three or more of these traits.
There is a link between periodontitis, an infection of the tissue supporting the teeth seen in up to 40 percent of adults, and system-wide problems such as low grade inflammation and a reduced ability to metabolize glucose.
Quoting a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Dr Aggarwal said that people with periodontitis are also at about 20 percent greater risk of heart disease.
Both periodontitis and the metabolic syndrome are linked to inflammation and resistance to insulin.
In the study 34% percent of people with moderate periodontitis and 37% with severe periodontitis had the metabolic syndrome, compared to just 18 percent of people with no gum disease or only mild periodontitis.
The likelihood of being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome rose with the severity of bleeding in the gums, as well as the proportion of periodontal pockets, or abnormally deep spaces between teeth and gums. The relationship was especially strong among people 40 and older.
Adults older than age 45 suffering from severe periodontitis were 2.3-times more likely to have metabolic syndrome than unaffected individuals.
In the study treating severe periodontitis resulted in better blood vessel function six months later.