According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one out of two adults aged 30 and above – or over 64.7 million Americans – experience periodontitis, the most advanced form of all periodontal diseases. This became a subject of utmost concern among experts, noting that periodontal diseases remain a significant public health issue for everyone. Periodontitis and other periodontal diseases and the entailing major health risks attributed to them, can be prevented through a comprehensive preventive care offered by Greenville, SC family dentistry services.

With severe periodontitis being the sixth most prevalent health condition in the world, several studies have been done to find correlations between gum diseases and other major health risks. Recent researches have highlighted the possible connection between periodontal or gum diseases and other deadly conditions, such as heart attack and Alzheimer’s disease.

Heart Attack and Alzheimer’s

In a study published in Geriatrics & Gerontology International, researchers found a link between periodontitis and the aggravation of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the study, the bacteria that characterizes periodontitis could travel through the bloodstream and reach the brain, where they can trigger a degeneration of brain tissues, similar to what takes place in persons with Alzheimer’s.

On the other hand, a separate study conducted by researchers from the University of Granada found another concrete correlation between periodontitis and heart diseases, stating that the extent and severity of periodontitis can have an effect on how severe a heart attack could get. The authors of the study suggested that chronic periodontitis should be considered a cause of heart attacks.


Another recent study analyzed the likelihood of the development of gum diseases among postmenopausal women. The study authors examined 200 women aged between 51 and 80 and assessed their risk for fracture using the Fracture Assessment Risk Tool (FRAX) tool. It was found that women with higher risks of fracture also had a higher risk of acquiring gum disease, most likely because of their lowered estrogen levels. Though the need for more thorough research on this matter is needed, the researchers are confident that the FRAX tool score can be used to find out a woman’s risk for gum disease.

Further research is still ongoing on the potential links of gum diseases, more particularly periodontitis, and serious health conditions, yet all of these run down to one point: gum care is important to avoid serious complications not only on oral health, but overall health as well. As your health is not something you should take a chance on, consider getting preventive oral care and have your gums checked regularly by trusted Greenville, SC family dental services, such as Falls Park Dentistry.

(Source: New relationships between periodontitis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart attacks, Dentistry IQ, February 3, 2015)