Exploring the Link Between Periodontal Disease and Coronary Heart Disease: A Review of the Literature
Wagner, Daniel Justin
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Periodontal disease, experienced by approximately 75 percent of adults in the United States, is a chronic bacterial infection that affects gums and bones supporting the teeth, as a result of toxins produced from oral bacteria. It is thought that this bacterium enters the blood stream and attaches to plaques in the coronary arteries and contributes to clot formation; the indicative sign of coronary heart disease. Several studies have examined whether an association between periodontal disease and coronary heart disease exists. The majority of studies have shown a positive association between the two diseases, however due to several concerns about the strength of associations, inconsistent study findings, and differences in measurements of periodontal disease and coronary heart disease, more studies still need to be performed examining this issue before drawing a final conclusion.
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