Although there have been a lot of statements in the press of a possible connection between gum disease (periodontitis: bleeding and swelling gums, bone loss around teeth) and heart disease and stroke (atherosclerosis) there is no actual evidence that gum disease causes heart disease or that if you don’t floss, you will have a heart attack. There is a lot of interest in the two as they are both chronic inflammatory conditions and there is a relationship between the two in the mechanism of their disease processes. As such, if someone is diagnosed with one, it would be prudent to check for the development of the other.
In a consensus paper published in the Journal of Periodontology and the American Journal of Cardiology, the following was recommended.
Recommendations for people diagnosed with periodontitis:
Recommendations for people diagnosed with atherosclerosis:
By working together, dentists and physicians can guide patients to better overall health.