Premature Birth and
Gum Disease Link - Periodontal Ailments Linked to Heart Illness,
Early Births and Type 2 Diabetes
New research reinforces the belief that there is a connection between
periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, as well as premature
births. Now it appears that one way to reduce the risk of heart disease
may be to manage other risk factors for the disease as well, including
dental hygiene. Dr. Moise Desyarieux, MD said "It appears a
relationship exists, but we don't know exactly what it is and if it is a
causal relationship. Therefore, we can't make recommendations for
people with periodontal disease in respect to cardiovascular disease."
Dr. Desvarieux is an infectious disease epidemiologist in the Department
of Epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public
Health. His team coordinated the (INVEST) study to investigate the oral
health-cardiovascular disease relationship.
The main risk factors for cardiovascular disease should also be
addressed. Dr. Desvarieux said "To reduce their risk for cardiovascular
disease, patients must manage all their risk factors, including smoking,
diabetes, and weight."
To date, most of the research in this area revolved around dentists
manually probing the gums looking for signs of periodontal disease and
inflammation. They measured pocket depth and spacing around each
tooth. Then the researchers would look for fatty acid buildup in the
carotid artery. If this buildup was present, it is a good chance that
the patient had arthrosclerosis, and this is a direct link to future
stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Now Dr. Desvarieux’s in a collaborative effort with researchers from the
Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine and
neurologists at the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia
University Medical Center added a new dimension to the analysis. Dr.
Desvarieux explains “Our research brings in the microbiological factors
that may connect the two diseases. We analyzed bacterial samples from
the oral cavity, three of which are specifically associated with
periodontal disease. We found that those patients with one or any
combination of these three bacteria also had atherosclerosis.”
Recently ABC News reported that gum / periodontal disease may be linked
with premature births. This may shed light on why one in 10 pregnant
women gives birth prematurely.
According to the report, pregnant women are more likely to develop
swollen or inflamed gums because of the sweeping hormonal changes that
occur after conception. These changes are usually temporary.
It is important to treat these conditions in pregnant women. ABC
reported “that women who had moderate-to-severe periodontal disease
during pregnancy had an increased risk of pre-term delivery, even when
factors like race, smoking and behavioral attitudes were taken into
Scientists are not sure why this happens. It is possible that oral
bacteria enter the bloodstream and baby. This may alert the immune
system to send the baby now. There is also a chemical found in oral
bacteria, called prostaglandin, which can induce labor.
It is estimated that a fifth of the premature births could be
prevented. Dr. Steven Offenbacher told ABC that one in 5 premature
births could be prevented by treating periodontal disease. He is a
periodontics professor at the University Of North Carolina School Of
Dentistry. He added that insurance companies have begun offering
aggressive prenatal dental care to pregnant women.
International reported that obesity is a predictor of periodontal
disease. According to the researchers, the severity of the disease
increased in tandem with insulin resistance. This research was done by
Robert Genco of the University of Buffalo. He said that people with a
high body mass index produce cytokines or hormone-like proteins that
help create inflammation and insulin resistance.
The data was extrapolated from the third national Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey. The UPI report included a statement by Dr. Kenneth
A. Krebs “The presence of periodontal infection combined with obesity
may contribute to type 2 diabetes and its complications, such as
coronary heart disease."
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Pregnancy
Keywords and misspellings: Pariadontal
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