No link between periodontitis and heart disease: AHA

A new statement by the American Heart Association (AHA) says that periodontal disease has not been proven to cause atherosclerotic heart disease or stroke, and treating periodontitis has not been proven to prevent heart disease or stroke, This has been recently published in Circulation.

The statement,  by the AHA Committee on Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease, said:

"Recently, concern about possible links between periodontal disease (PD) and atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD) has intensified and is driving an active field of investigation into possible association and causality," wrote the committee, which comprises cardiologists, dentists, and infectious diseases specialists.

"The two disorders share several common risk factors, including cigarette smoking, age, and diabetes mellitus. Patients and providers are increasingly presented with claims that PD treatment strategies offer ASVD protection."

The statement’s authors dismissed previous studies that implied a cause-and-effect relationship between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease or that claim that dental treatment may prevent heart attack or stroke, saying they were ‘unwarranted’.

"Although many ... studies have suggested positive associations between these two diseases, others have not, particularly after adjustment for potential confounding variables," the authors wrote. Whether an independent, clinically significant association exists between the two disorders remains "controversial," they added.

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