Learn about the Link Between Heart Disease and Oral Health

January 27, 2009

February is American Heart Month.  What does this have to do with dentistry?  Come to find out, alot! Research suggests a significant link between oral and cardiovascular health.

In particular, periodontal health seems to play a major role.  Read what the American Academy of Periodontology has to say about periodontal disease and the heart.

You may also wish to browse this list of recent reviews pertaining to oral health and the heart:

Antibiotic prophylaxis for preventing endocarditis and infection in joint prosthesis after dental treatment: a review of new trends and recommendations in the literature. Kotze MJ. SADJ : journal of the South African Dental Association 2008 Sep;63(8):440-4. Review.

Antibiotics for the prophylaxis of bacterial endocarditis in dentistry. Oliver R, Roberts GJ, Hooper L, Worthington HV. “Cochrane database of systematic reviews . 2008 Oct 8;(4):CD003813. Review.

A change of heart: the new infective endocarditis prophylaxis guidelines. Daly CG, Currie BJ, Jeyasingham MS, Moulds RF, Smith JA, Strathmore NF, Street AC, Goss AN. Australian dental journal 2008 Sep;53(3):196-200; quiz 297. Review.

Cardiovascular disease and periodontitis: an update on the associations and risk. Persson GR, Persson RE. Journal of clinical periodontology. 2008 Sep;35(8 Suppl):362-79.

Inflammation, C-reactive protein, and atherothrombosis.  Ridker PM, Silvertown JD. Journal of periodontology 2008 Aug;79(8 s):1544-51.

Dental treatment, antibiotic cover and infective endocarditis: a major rethink. Seymour RA. Dental update. 2008 Jul-Aug;35(6):366-8, 370. Review.

The effect of chronic periodontitis on the development of atherosclerosis: review of the literature. Niedzielska I, Janic T, Cierpka S, Swietochowska E. Medical science monitor : international medical journal of experimental and clinical research. 2008 Jul;14(7):RA103-6.

The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease is probably inflammation. Davé S, Van Dyke T. Oral Dis. 2008 Mar;14(2):95-101.

Associations between periodontal diseases and systemic diseases: a review of the inter-relationships and interactions with diabetes, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis. Kuo LC, Polson AM, Kang T. Public Health. 2008 Apr;122(4):417-33. Epub 2007 Oct 29.15.


Smoking and Oral Health

November 19, 2008

Great American Smokeout Day is Thursday, November 20

imagesFor more than 32 years on the third Thursday of November, the American Cancer Society has helped and inspired Americans to quit smoking. Below is a list of resources to share with your patients, friends and family, to better understand the dangers of smoking and oral health.

Preterm Birth and Oral Health

November 17, 2008

The March of Dimes is celebrating Prematurity Awareness throughout the month of November. The goal of this event is to draw attention to premature birth, which affects more than 530,000 babies each year in the United States.

In the first of what will be an annual Premature Birth Report Card, the nation received a D and not a single state earned an A when the March of Dimes compared actual preterm birth rates to the national Healthy People 2010 objective.

Recent studies have linked maternal periodontal disease to preterm birth.  Furthermore, studies have indicated that the treatment of periodontitis in pregnant mothers can reduce the risk of preterm birth.

For additional information on premature birth and oral health, see this list of internet resources.

Child and Adolescent Healthcare Quality and Healthcare Disparites Reports

November 14, 2008

The 2007 National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report indicate disparities in oral health care quality, access, and utilization for children.

Since 2003, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has produced an annual National Healthcare Quality Report and National Healthcare Disparities Report.  These studies are a “report card” on the Nation’s health.  Several measures featured in recent reports pertain to the oral health of children.

Key findings include:

  • The percentage of children ages 2-17 with a dental visit in the past year has increased and is now over 50 percent.
  • From 1999-2004, the proportion of children with untreated dental caries was higher for Blacks (24.4%) and Mexican Americans (31.2%) than for Whites (17%).
  • The percentage of children with a dental visit in the past year was lower for poor, near poor, and middle income children compared with high income children

The fact sheet, with links to the full report and detailed data tables may be viewed online.

Read recent articles, as indexed in PubMed.

Browse a list of internet resources pertaining to acess to oral health care.

Diabetes, TMJ and November

October 31, 2008

November is American Diabetes Month and TMJ Awarness Month.  Here are some resources related to these topics.

Diabetes and Dentistry:


Chocolate: It’s Role in Oral Health

October 20, 2008

Chocolate season has arrived! This treat helps us celebrate from Halloween through Christmas.  Nonetheless, concerns about overindulging include weight gain, lower bone density,a rise in serum triglyceride levels, migraine headaches, and increased esophageal acid. On the other hand, research shows that eating chocolate may improve vascular health, blood pressure, cognitive health, blood flow, and skin health.

Chocolate may also be beneficial to the teeth!

For example, a study out of the College of Dental Sciences in Davangere, India aimed to evaluate the effect of cocoa bean husk extract on plaque accumulation and mutans streptococcus count when used as a mouth rinse by children.  Results indicated a 20.9% decrease in mutans streptococci and a 49.6% decrease in plaque scores and concluded that cocoa bean husk extract is highly effective in reducing mutans streptococci and plaque when used as a mouth rinse by children.

Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry (2008):26, 2 : 67-70RK Srikanth, ND Shashikiran, VV Subba Reddy. Chocolate mouth rinse: Effect on plaque accumulation and mutans streptococci counts when used by children.

Similarly, a study out of the University of Osaka Graduate School of Dentistry in Osaka, Japan found that after four days of rinsing with a cocoa flavanol extract without other oral hygiene methods, participants had decreased bacteria and plaque on their teeth.

Matsumoto M, Tsuji M, Okuda J, Sasaki H, Nakano K, Osawa K, Shimura S, Ooshima T. European journal of oral sciences. 2004 Jun;112(3):249-52. Inhibitory effects of cacao bean husk extract on plaque formation in vitro and in vivo.

We at the library beleive in the power of chocolate, in moderation, and will do our best to keep our candy dish full – – so please stop in during the holiday season and have some chocolate for your health!

For a listing of more articles on this topic, indexed in PubMed, click here.

Oral Health: The Public Speaks

October 20, 2008

The American Dental Association, in collaboration with Crest and Oral-,B conducted a national public opinion survey on oral health care.  The survey represented  1,000 Americans ages 18 and older, living in the continental United States. The survey focused on the following areas:

  • The public’s perceptions of their oral health care, with a special focus on African Americans, Hispanics and lower-income Americans
  • Americans’ knowledge of effective and essential oral health care habits
  • Oral health habits among the nation’s youth
  • The psychological benefits of a healthy smile

Key findings include:

  • Eight out of  ten Americans say taking care of one’s mouth, teeth and gums is “absolutely needed; however, only one-third of them say they do an “excellent” job taking care of them
  • One out of four parents describe their children’s job of taking care of their oral health as fair” or “poor”

More than one in three Americans say:

  • They think a little bleeding from brushing is normal (33%)
  • They are unaware that periodontal disease needs to be treated and cannot be left alone (33%)
  • They don’t know that poor oral health has been associated with serious health conditions such as stroke, heart disease  and diabetes (37%)

The full report and related documents are available on the ADA site.

Links to resources for educating your patients on oral health conditions, treatment and prevention may be found here.

%d bloggers like this: