Health organizations take stance on AHA statement about the possible link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease

May 14, 2012
Issue 5

In its scientific statement published online in Circulation on April 18, The American Heart Association (AHA) confirmed that observational studies to date support an association between periodontal disease and atherosclerotic vascular disease independent of known cofounders. The Association does not, however, support a causative relationship.

In its scientific statement published online in Circulation on April 18, The American Heart Association (AHA) confirmed that observational studies to date support an association between periodontal disease and atherosclerotic vascular disease independent of known cofounders. The Association does not, however, support a causative relationship.

While the AHA recognizes that periodontal interventions result in a reduction in systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in short-term studies, there is no evidence that they prevent atherosclerotic vascular disease or modify its outcomes.

The American Academy of Periodontology

W"Periodontal Disease and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease: Does the Evidence Support an Independent Association?

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American Academy of Periodontology

In an exclusive video interview from CDA 2012 with the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) Past President Dr. Donald S. Clem, DDS about the recent statement, Clem said the academy would like emphasis that periodontal disease is a link associated with cardiovascular disease and should be considered a risk.

"We agree with the American Heart Association that there is no direct evidence that periodontal disease either causes or changes the progression of cardiovascular disease, however, one of the important findings in the American Heart Association's statement is that periodontal disease is associated and a link to cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Clem.

Dr. Clem encourages dental professionals to act as advocates and consider funding the research to further investigate the relationship between periodontal diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

The American Dental Association

The American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs has agreed with the conclusions from the AHA statement that current scientific evidence does not establish a direct cause and effect relationship between gum disease and heart disease or stroke. Additionally, the evidence does not establish that gum disease increases the rate of heart disease or stroke.

Related Article: The link between obesity and periodontal disease

The American Association of Public Health Dentistry

The American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) also agrees with the AHA statement. In a public statement, the AAPHD said people with gum disease have a greater chance of having heart disease than people with healthy gums. The association believes more studies are needed to show if gum disease directly causes heart attacks and strokes.

According to Dr. Nicholas Mosca, AAPHD President, the association supports preventing and treating gum disease to better oral health for everybody, including people with heart disease.