German Scientists have discovered a genetic link between gum disease (periodontitis) and heart disease. Researchers have found a variation of chromosome 9 that increases the risk of early-onset periodontitis and heart disease in a study conducted with 151 periodontitis patients and 1,097 people with heart disease who had already had a heart attack.
Risk factors for both diseases include smoking, obesity, and diabetes. Now that this link has been scientifically proven, patients diagnosed with periodontitis can make lifestyle changes to improve their health, such as:
- Eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet
- Exercising regularly
- Getting regular checkups
- Quitting smoking
Think of the periodontitis diagnosis as a wake-up call as far as your health is concerned. See your dentist to get appropriate treatment for the condition, but also visit your doctor to get a checkup and follow your doctor’s advice.