A new study claims tooth-loss can lead to heart disease. Amy Norton of Reuters has more:
The findings, reported in the journal Heart, add to evidence linking oral health to heart health. A number of studies have suggested that gum disease may contribute to heart disease over time -- though it's still not clear that there is a cause-and-effect relationship.For more not-so-ordinary causes of heart problems, check out these posts:
This latest study involved more than 12,000 UK adults who were followed from college onward, for up to 57 years. Researchers found that those with a large number of missing teeth in young adulthood -- nine or more -- were one-third more likely to die of heart disease than their peers with fewer than five missing teeth.
The link remained when the researchers considered factors such as socioeconomic background and smoking, which harms both the teeth and gums and the heart.
Tooth loss is an indicator of poor oral health. Scientists speculate that the bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease may enter the bloodstream and either damage the blood vessel lining directly or trigger inflammation in the body that then contributes to heart disease.