985 had good dental health, 489 had moderate periodontitis and 113 had severe periodontitis.
During an average follow-up of just over six years, people with gum disease were 49% more likely to die from any cause, have a nonfatal heart attack or stroke, or to develop severe heart failure.
The risk of those outcomes increased with the severity of gum disease, according to the study presented Friday at a virtual meeting of the European Society of Cardiology. Such research is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
When assessed separately, the relationship between gum disease severity and the risk of negative outcomes was significant only for those who had experienced a heart attack in the past.
“Our study suggests that dental screening programs including regular check-ups and education on proper dental hygiene may help to prevent first and subsequent heart events,” Ferrannini concludes.
Preventing periodontal disease
Try the following tips to prevent periodontal disease:
- Brush your teeth and tongue after meals to remove food debris and plaque trapped between your gums and teeth.
- Floss at least once a day to remove food and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Use mouthwash to remove any remaining food particles and plaque that may have been missed by brushing and flossing.
- You should know your risk. Age, smoking, diet and genetics can all increase your risk for periodontal disease. If you have an increased risk, you should see a dental professional. They can look at your teeth, plaque level, gums, bite, bone structure and other risk factors for periodontal disease and identify any symptoms of gum disease. Early detection is key to protecting your teeth and gums.