People with bad gum disease are more likely to suffer a severe, and possibly fatal, heart attack. But researchers aren't sure if poor gums are a tell-tale sign of an unhealthy heart or are actually a cause.
Chronic periodontitis, an inflammatory gum disease that can result in teeth loss, is "closely associated" to acute myocardial infarction, or heart attack, say researchers from the University of Granada.
The more severe the gum disease, the more severe is the heart attack, which in some cases proves fatal, say the researchers, who looked at the gum health of 112 patients who had suffered a heart attack.
Further research needs to be carried out, say the researchers, but it could be that periodontitis will become a predictor for assessing the likelihood and severity of a heart attack.
(Source: Journal of Dental Research, 2014; 93(10): 993)