83.6 million (>1:3) American adults have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. There are 22 types of cardiovascular disease; hypertensive heart disease, rheumatic heart disease, ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular heart disease, inflammatory heart disease, and atherosclerosis, to name a few. CVD is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. 12 million cases per year of mortality from CVD (30% of all deaths in the United States) . About 200,000 avoidable deaths occurred in 2010 from heart disease, stroke, and hypertensive disease occurred in the United States. 56% of these deaths were among people under 65 years of age. Cardiovascular disease remains the number one global cause of death (17.3 million deaths per year).

The Connection: How Destructive Periodontal Disease Damages Blood Vessels

The Connection Between Perio & Heart Disease (Charissa)

Periodontal bacteria travel from the oral cavity into the blood stream, causing systemic inflammation. The presence of dangerous oral bacteria is a root cause that drives systemic inflammation and damages the blood vessel lining: the first step toward heart attack and stroke. Proinflammatory mediators are released in response to gum disease driving insulin resistance, which causes arterial damage and CVD. Gum disease is the only known disease to increase LpPla2 which increases plaque vulnerability and plays a direct role in CVD progression.

Prevention: The Key to Reducing Your Risk

Improving oral health reduces systemic infection and inflammation, allowing the body to heal itself. Eliminating oral infections may lead to disease reversal. Studies suggest that nearly half of all heart attacks and ischemic strokes could be prevented with complete health dental treatment. Excess stress may be detrimental to your health. The stress response initiates hormones that increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension. Long-term exposure to stress can disrupt nearly every organ in your body, increasing your risk for serious health complications such as heart attack and stroke. Eating a healthy, balanced diet lowers your risk for many chronic conditions including obesity, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes and depression. Regular exercise is important for total body health. Exercise improves heart health by helping your heart and cardiovascular system work more efficiently. It can help control blood pressure, improve blood lipids and reduce systemic inflammation. Proper sleep is important for general health. Lack of sleep enhances pro-inflammatory activity and reduces proper immune function, impacting your safety, vitality, and longevity.


Go AS, Mozaffarian D, et al; on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2013 update: a report from the American Heart Association. 2013;127:6-245. Dhadse, P, Gattani, D. The link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease: how far have we come? J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2010; 14(3): 148–154. Vital Signs: Avoidable Deaths from Heart Disease, Stroke, and Hypertensive Disease — United States, 2001–2010. Weekly. 2013;62(35);721-727 Shannies, S, Hein, C. The Significance of Periodontal Infection in Cardiology. Grand Rounds. 2006;1:2-7. Stein, J.M. et. Al. J Periodontol Oct. 2009;80:1581-1589 Demmer R, Papapanou P, et al. Bleeding on probing differentially related to bacterial profiles: the INVEST Study; Journal of Clinical Periodontology. 2008;35: 479-486;