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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Bad teeth link to heart dismissed

Thursday April 19th, 2012

Bad teeth may not cause heart disease or stroke, experts said last night.

A new analysis, by a team of experts, has found "no conclusive evidence" of a link.

Some researchers have claimed a link, thought to be caused by gum infection "leaking" into the rest of the body and causing inflammation.

But the American Heart Association committee examined some 500 studies without finding proof that gum disease can cause heart disease.

The experts say there may be common factors which make it look as though there is a link - such as smoking and age.

The findings were published last night in Circulation.

Professor Peter Lockhard, a dental expert at the Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, said: “There’s a lot of confusion out there.

"The message sent out by some in healthcare professions that heart attack and stroke are directly linked to gum disease, can distort the facts, alarm patients and perhaps shift the focus on prevention away from well known risk factors for these diseases."

He added: “Much of the literature is conflicting - but if there was a strong causative link, we would likely know that by now.”

Periodontal Disease and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease:Does the Evidence Support an Independent Association? Circulation April 18 2012; doi: 10.1161/CIR.0b013e31825719f3

Tags: General Health | Heart Health | North America

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