People with gum disease are more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis, or a narrowing of blood vessels that can lead to heart attack or stroke shows latest research .
For the study researchers measured the bacteria levels in the mouths of 657 people who had no history of heart attack or stroke. The thickness of the subjects' carotid artery, used to identify atherosclerosis, was also measured. People with a higher level of the specific bacteria that causes periodontal disease also had an increased thickness in the carotid artery, even after researchers accounted for other cardiovascular risk factors.
The study showed that atherosclerosis is associated with the type of bacteria that causes periodontal disease and not with other oral bacteria. Researchers confirmed their finding by assessing the levels of three different groups of microbes: those that are known to cause periodontal disease, those that are thought to possibly cause periodontal disease, and those that are not connected to the disease.
Thus researchers say since gum infections are preventable and treatable, taking care of ones oral health could have a significant impact on ones cardiovascular health.