Teeth loss linked to heart attacks, diabetes and high cholesterol 'because it …

  • Study links gum disease with heart disease and diabetes
  • Regular dental treatment can cut the risk of heart disease
  • Risk markers also include ‘bad’ cholesterol, blood
    sugar, blood pressure and waist circumference.

Jaymi Mccann

20:59 EST, 22 March 2013


21:01 EST, 22 March 2013

Losing your teeth could signal a higher risk of suffering heart disease and diabetes, warn researchers.

A new study links fewer teeth and bleeding gums with a range of cardiovascular problems, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Experts say getting gum disease treated with a dental check-up every year could cut the risk of developing heart disease.

Dentists say that gum disease has links with those who have high cholesterol as it causes inflammation in the bloodstream

Dentists say that gum disease has links with those who have high cholesterol as it causes inflammation in the bloodstream

Previously, researchers found poor dental hygiene and bleeding gums could allow up to 700 different types of bacteria to get into the bloodstream, which increases the risk of a heart attack regardless of how fit and healthy the person is.

Gum disease causes bad breath, bleeding gums and, if untreated, cavities, receding gums and tooth loss after bacteria or plaque settles between teeth and under the gumline.

It has been linked to chronic health problems including heart disease, thought to be caused by inflammation into the bloodstream.

In the first study of its type, Swedish researchers looked at patients with chronic coronary heart disease taking part in a drugs trial and examined their dental health.

At the start of the study, 15,828 study participants from 39 countries reported their remaining number of teeth, classified as: none, 1-14, 15-19, 20-25 or 26-32, and frequency of gum bleeds: never/rarely, sometimes, often or always.

Around 40 per cent of patients had fewer than 15 teeth and 16 per cent had no teeth, while one in four reported gum bleeds.

Cardiac risk markers also went up as the number of teeth dropped, including 'bad' cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and waist circumference

Cardiac risk markers also went up as the number of teeth dropped, including ‘bad’ cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and waist circumference

For every fall in the number of teeth recorded, the study found increasing levels of an enzyme that increases inflammation and promotes hardening of the arteries.

Other cardiac risk markers also went up as the number of teeth dropped, including ‘bad’ cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and waist circumference.

Patients with fewer teeth also had more chance of having diabetes, with the odds increasing by 11 per cent for every fall in the number of teeth category.

Bleeding gums were associated with higher levels of bad cholesterol and blood pressure.
The study was carried out at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Professor Robin Seymour , a member of the Simplyhealth Advisory Research Panel (ShARP) which is backed by the healthcare provider, said although several studies have proposed a link between dental and heart health, there was little data on gum disease in patients with diagnosed heart disease.

He said it was unclear how gum, or periodontal, disease affected heart health.

One possibility is that oral bacteria entering the bloodstream may activate the immune system, making artery walls inflamed and narrowed, or attach directly to fatty deposits already present in the arteries which causes further narrowing.

Prof Seymour said generalised body inflammation might cause both conditions, or gum disease might be the trigger for cardiovascular disease.

He said ‘What is clear is that people can reduce their risk of periodontal disease by regularly visiting the dentist.

‘Check-ups and treatment for periodontal disease may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. As a result, it is vital for people to go through basic periodontal screening at least once a year so that a thorough inspection of periodontal tissues can be achieved.’ An Australian study last year found women with gum disease took an extra two months to get pregnant compared with women with healthy teeth and gums.

It took around seven months on average for women with poor oral hygiene to conceive, but just five months for those who brushed their teeth properly.

Other researchers found a link between high levels of dental plaque, or bacteria, and cancer death up to 13 years earlier than expected.

The comments below have not been moderated.

So your headline statement of a “causal link” becomes a mere “association” by the end of the story.

Gramsci Refusenik

Idiocracy, United Kingdom,
23/3/2013 19:23

After my first pregnancy i ended up with about 4 cavities from perfectly healthy teeth/diet and taking care of them..eating prenatal vitamins like candy…by my third child i had over half my mouth full of cavities…during the past few years i have been called a druggie and meth mouth…never done meth in my life. Glad i got all but 6 pulled though, no pain and no poison.- tassy, Norman, United States ———————————————- Hormones in pregnancy can cause dental problems, it was the reason all pregnant women used to qualify for free dental care under the NHS, I’m not sure if they still do.

Grasshopper Farmer

23/3/2013 17:22

What is really sad is the governments Medicaid and Medicare pay for people under the age of 18 to have everything from teeth removed to full dental checkups to dentures….while those 18 and over are only allowed emergency tooth removal….cause yea i see a lot of people 18 and under needing dentures…its like they don’t realize if they don’t help those with bad teeth over the age of 18 it will catch up with them and cause more medical problems in the long run that they in turn will have to pay for.

And don’t always judge a book by its cover….i was born with a calcium and enzyme deficiency and didn’t know it. After my first pregnancy i ended up with about 4 cavities from perfectly healthy teeth/diet and taking care of them..eating prenatal vitamins like candy…by my third child i had over half my mouth full of cavities…during the past few years i have been called a druggie and meth mouth…never done meth in my life. Glad i got all but 6 pulled though, no pain and no poison.


Norman, United States,
23/3/2013 17:13

Most stories in the media are depressing. I am starting to wish the world would end so I will be put out of my misery.


23/3/2013 15:29

New study? I think you’ll find people have know about this for many years!

Auger Borer

East Midlands, United Kingdom,
23/3/2013 15:27

Better tell Jezza Kyle then he has plenty people on his show like this !!!!

jog the one and only

23/3/2013 15:16

FACT – none of us will get out of this life alive and there are no rewards for dying with all your teeth and a trim waist!


Nottingham, United Kingdom,
23/3/2013 15:02

Old news!


23/3/2013 15:01

How odd, the last study I read from the American Association of Cardiologists ruled out any links between gum and heart disease. There’s also the possibility that exposing the body to bacteria helps develop a resistance, but to be on the safe side simply have all your teeth removed and wear dentures.

Grasshopper Farmer

23/3/2013 14:25

Nothing new in this. It has been known for years.


Guildford, United Kingdom,
23/3/2013 14:20

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Literature Review Shows Inflammation Links Obesity and Gum …

Newswise — Blood on your toothbrush can be a warning sign of gum disease. And, if you are overweight, it can indicate other serious health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

Don’t wait. Get to the dentist, advise two faculty members from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine’s Department of Periodontics Charlene B. Krejci, DDS, MSD, and Nabil F. Bissada, DDS, MSD.

After reviewing previous research on gum disease and obesity, they found an association between both health problems, which they describe in the Journal of General Dentistry article, “Obesity and periodontitis: a link.”

“Healthcare professionals need to be aware of the complexity of obesity and the role periodontitis has in overall health,” said Bissada, professor and chair of the Department of Periodontics.

Periodontitis, commonly called gum disease (and gingivitis in its milder form), affects nearly half the U.S. population over age 30, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. The disease ignites an inflammatory response as the body begins to fight off bacteria present in the dental plaque. If not treated, the inflammation eventually erodes the jawbone and loosens teeth. In severe cases, patients lose their teeth. The bacteria can also cause ulcers in the pocket surrounding the involved teeth and eventually enter the blood and settle in other parts of the body.

Being overweight can compound the problem, the researchers warn. Belly fat contains about 50 bioactive substances, which can set off inflammatory responses that reduce the body’s ability to suppress appetite or use insulin to regulate glucose levels—both of which are linked to diabetes.

Adipose tissue (fat) can also increase production of the C-reactive protein (CRP) involved in the inflammation process and linked to cardiovascular disease.

Bissada first reported the obesity and gum disease link from animal studies in 1977. Several studies have since verified this link in humans.

“Whether gum disease or obesity came first is yet to be determined,” said Krejci, an associate clinical professor at the school of dental medicine who also has a private practice. “What has emerged from the literature is that the association between obesity and gum disease is chronic inflammation.”


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‘Smilorexia’ and the cosmetic dentists who exploit the condition

The obsessive desire for a perfect Hollywood smile, or ‘smilorexia’ ascoined by Michael Zuk DDS for his new book ‘Confessions of a FormerCosmetic Dentist’ is real and can lead to abuse of the person with the disorder. “These people run to the cosmetic dentist demanding the whitest, biggest teeth and the widest smiles…and are easy victims of the Extreme Smile Makeover,” says Zuk.

The dental profession is partly to blame for this fixation on perfection but there are a number of dirty secrets your cosmetic dentist does not want you to know. To begin with cosmetic dentists do not agree on the definition of a ‘perfect smile’ and almost as shocking, orthodontists can’t even decide on a definition of ‘straight teeth’. These facts reflect the reality that even the dental profession who claims to be able to give people the perfect smile, can’t even decide what it is!

The biggest problem is cosmetic dentists think teeth need to be veneered with porcelain to look their best. He says they actually try too hard and often end up making the person’s smile look artificial. The promotion of veneers to quickly straighten crowded teeth, in Dr. Zuk’s opinion, is one of the profession’s worst violations against the public. According to Dr. Zuk, “Healthy teeth are being drilled straight and the damage is hidden under the porcelain, but it’s still wrong.”

In his crusade against extreme makeovers, he is even taking on Oprah & Dr. Oz to say, despite their good intentions sometimes their guests give the public false information about dental health and makeover advice. “I watched an episode of Oprah where Kathy Griffin was bragging about her new smile, and she said the veneers last forever. Dentists often call them permanent veneers, but the truth is they often need replacement after only 7-10 years…in fact some people with grinding habits start breaking them as soon as they are installed,” says Zuk.

The final word of advice, according to Dr. Zuk, is don’t have an extreme smile makeover until you learn more about the alternatives your cosmetic dentist may not mention that can be kinder to your teeth and your pocketbook. His book ‘Confessions of a Former Cosmetic

Dentist’ is available on Amazon.com and more information can be found on the website www.ConfessionsofaFormerCosmeticDentist.com.

Read here about Miley Cyrus, who says she “loves her crooked teeth”.

Images: http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=download&id=184540, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1109104

Miley Cyrus loves her ‘crooked’ teeth

Grown up Miley Cyrus is experiencing her first taste of the pressures of Hollywood. But despite rumours that she has had work done on her teeth, the star claims she loves her crooked chops.

Cyrus’ teeth do not look like they did when she was 14. The Hannah Montana actress and singer is said to have had extensive cosmetic procedures, including whitening and altering the gums to make them less visible.

In 2008, she said “I’m really nervous for the surgery. But I’m sure it will go well. I can’t wait for my new smile. I love it already,” according to Crushable.

The operation was expected to take 18 hours with approximately 2 weeks to heal. Since then, Miley has not stopped flashing those chops.

The extent of the work done is disputed. Star Magazine goes one step further, according to Popcrunch, by suggesting that the 17-year-old’s new teeth may altogether not be her own.

Cyrus’ pearly whites allegedly popped out on the set of a photo shoot, according to an insider, who told Star Magazine: “Her eyeteeth – the pointy ones – are connected by a bridge, and they came out and hit the floor in front of her. Everyone froze.”

Did she make a mistake by having surgery? If so, she’s not one to admit it. Despite the cosmetically enhanced smile, Billy Ray Cyrus’ daughter claims she is a fan of natural beauty and even her ‘crooked’ teeth. Posing for Elle magazine in July 2009, a very adult-looking Miley stated: “I like these crooked. I love my teeth.” Whether the further comment “my dad won’t let me fix my teeth or cut my hair” has anything to do with the matter, is another question.

Other celebrities who have had their teeth fixed include actors Demi Moore and Tom Cruise.

Images: Steal Their Style on Picasa and Wikimedia Commons

Green tea is good for dental health

The health benefits green tea gives you seem endless. Ranging from treating cancer to helping you lose weight, preventing infections and increasing heart health, scientists have now found green tea also promotes dental health.

“It has been long speculated that green tea possesses a host of health benefits,” Dr. Yoshihiro Shimazaki of Kyushu University in Japan told ScienceDaily.com. “And since many of us enjoy green tea on a regular basis, my colleagues and I were eager to investigate the impact of green tea consumption on periodontal health, especially considering the escalating emphasis on the connection between periodontal health and overall health.”

The famous antioxidants in green tea have been proven to reduce periodontal disease, which is a chronic inflammation also affecting the gums. Green tea has been found to contain certain antimicrobial components, called catechins, which also promote a general good dental health.

According to Altmedicine.com, green tea drinkers generally have better tooth health than non green tea drinkers. Also, green tea drinkers are more likely to keep their teeth, while non green tea drinkers were more likely to lose their teeth.

What an easy way to boost your periodontal health.

Green tea can also fight eye problems.

Read about how stress affects dental health.

Images: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/403920, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1109104

Snail spit used to formulate super-strong pain killer

According to www.dailymail.co.uk, scientists have used the spit of the snail and formulated a pain relief pill from it.

The saliva of the marine cone snail is used by it to catch prey. The chemical had the same pain relieving qualities as morphine and relieved even the most severe pains, without leaving any risk of addiction. The saliva of the snail contains enormous amounts of peptide toxins so that the slow moving creatures can catch its prey. Snails have needle-like teeth which they use to inject their prey with.

According to www.news-fire.com, the researchers are of the belief that this peptide has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of severe pains.

The pain reliever was developed by scientists and has to be injected directly into the spinal cord, limiting its usage. Not just this, the researchers in Australia have also developed oral painkiller medicines with the help of the saliva.

Earlier peptides were known to be poor drugs as there wasn’t any possibility of taking them orally and they were unstable. Professor Craik, who led the research has found the way to stabilize the peptides and said that “All you need is for the ends to be roughly close to one another.”

Images: Schillergarcia and opencage

Stress can affect your dental health

A recent study claims that stress not only affects your brain but also other parts of your body, including your teeth. It can make you grind your teeth at night. Sleep bruxism is a term referring to a state where people, while trying to cope with stress, grind teeth together. Maria Giraki, from Heinrich-Heine University, Germany was quoted by the Times of India as saying: “Our data supports the assumption that people with the most problematic grinding do not seem to be able to deal with stress in an adequate way. They seem to prefer negative coping strategies like ‘escape’. This, in general, increases the feeling of stress, instead of looking at the stressor in a positive way.”

This habit can abrade the tooth and can also cause other tooth related problems, medicinenet.com reports. Giraki said, “Bruxing can lead to abrasive tooth wear, looseness and sensitivity of teeth, and growth and pain in the muscles responsible for chewing. Its causes are still relatively unknown, but stress has been implicated. We aimed to investigate whether different stress-factors, and different coping strategies, were more or less associated with these bruxism symptoms.”

Weight loss and/or eating disorders can also be a result of stress. Read about Kate Bosworth, who claims she is skinny because of stress, and Diana, Princess of Wales, who admitted to becoming bulimic due to stress.

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cusp_tips.JPG; Author: DRosenbach