Orthodontics Effect on Heart Disease/Stroke

smiling adults Cardiovascular disease claims more lives in the United States every year than cancer. While it is widely known that adopting a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, exercise, and smoking cessation, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, many people are unaware of the significant connection between dental health and coronary heart disease.

A study featured in the December 2008 edition of the Journal of Periodontology (JOP), the official publication of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), indicates that individuals with periodontal disease may have an elevated risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Furthermore, several articles suggest that dental disease presents a greater risk factor for heart disease than being overweight, having high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, or smoking.

For more information, please visit: http://www.perio.org/consumer/healthy-heart.htm

What does this have to do with Orthodontics?

Orthodontic treatment has been shown to reduce the risk of certain oral conditions that are considered risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The underlying theory is based on the connection between bacteria-induced inflammation in the gums and its potential impact on the heart and blood vessels. It is believed that this inflammation leads to plaque formation and the vascular lining deterioration, contributing to cardiovascular or coronary heart disease.

Orthodontics plays a crucial role in this scenario. Having straight teeth makes oral hygiene easier and helps maintain a healthier, inflammation-free environment compared to misaligned teeth. By reducing inflammation, the risk of heart disease may be mitigated. When orthodontic treatment is performed during childhood, it is believed to provide long-term benefits by minimizing the occurrence of oral conditions that have been identified as potential risk factors for heart disease.

By addressing malocclusion at an early age, orthodontics may contribute to a lifetime reduction in the oral conditions that studies have linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

Study Urges Men to Brush Up on Their Oral Health

A recent study emphasizes the significance of oral health for overall well-being, particularly in men. Published in The Lancet Oncology, the research highlights the association between gum disease and an increased risk of cancer. Men with a history of gum disease have a 14 percent higher likelihood of developing cancer than those with healthy gums. Furthermore, the study reveals specific risks for men with periodontal disease:

  • 49 percent higher risk of kidney cancer
  • 54 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer
  • 30 percent higher risk of blood cancers

Previous research has also indicated potential connections between gum disease and other health conditions, such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. With this new study’s findings, it is essential for men to pay close attention to their oral hygiene and dental health, as gum disease may contribute to the onset of cancer.