New evidence of link between cardiovascular disease and oral health
It should not be overlooked that oral diseases can affect different organs of our body.
In particular, the most well-founded are cases of periodontitis, that is, inflammation of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth, according to the definition of the National Library of Medi-cine (NIH). This is associated with the risk of cancer, diabetes and even dementia, but above all, cardiovascular disease.
Recently, a study published in the Journal of Dental Research and led by researchers at the Helsinki Uni-versity Hospital brings new evidence of the association between heart disease and oral problems.
“The prevalence of ischemic heart disease is up to 2.7 times higher in patients requiring endodontics than in those who do not need this treatment,” said John Liljes-trand, the lead author of the study.
According to the newspaper ABC, this group of researchers used a sample of more than 500 patients with a mean of 62 years and coronary symptoms: 36% of the participants had stable ischemic heart disease, 33% fulfilled the criteria for the diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome, and the remaining 31% showed the initial signs of developing ischemic heart disease.
All of them had an orthopantomography or “panoramic radiology” of the jaw and the dental pieces. The result left no doubt, “58% had one or more inflammatory lesions that could be treated with an endodontic procedure,” reports the ABC.
Ruth Pérez Alfayate, an endodontist at the Artedental Clinic and doctor cum laude at the Universidad Europea de Madrid, as well as a professor and resear-cher at the same institution, explains that endodontics is a simple treatment that can prevent much more serious problems than those caused by a simple cavity or trauma.
This technique is also known among popular jar-gon as “nerve-killing”, although it is really about saving the teeth at risk of being withdrawn.
“It is a common treatment that we practise almost daily in Artedental, with very positive results,” explains the doctor.
It is practised in those cases where the dental pulp, the innermost part of the tooth and formed by soft tissues between which are the nerves and blood vessels, becomes inflamed and infected due to cavities, trauma or wear and tear between the teeth, among others.
The technique consists of extracting the pulp, disinfecting the cavity, filling it again and sealing it, to eliminate the focus of the infection and avoid what is called “dental abscess”, with very serious consequences ranging from tooth loss to Infection of other areas of the body causing brain abscess, inflammation of the heart or pneumonia.
For Dr. Pérez Alafayate, the evidence of the association between cardiovascular diseases and dental infections is beco-ming an irrefutable fact.
“It is critical that everyone complies with their dental reviews, especially among the elderly population. Sensing a problem that requires endodontics can save a lot of problems for people whose functions and organs do not have the same strength as when they were young. The greater the number of studies, the greater the evidence that good oral health plays in favor of our coronary health. “