Health news in 1997 included the idea that gum disease is a risk factor for heart disease. As interesting (silly? far-fetched?) as the idea that bleeding gums result in heart attack appears to some, it is a serious thought to others. Prevention magazines dental advisor, Dominick DePaola, D.D.S., Ph.D., has listed the gums-heart connection as a 1997 health breakthrough.
DePaola, writing in the December1997 issue of Prevention, notes that the pockets formed in gum disease have one of the highest concentrations of bacteria in the body. This bacteria can “leak” into the bloodstream and be carried to the heart. The bacteria then have the potential to damage the heart walls or valves. The bacteria may also spur blood clotting, which, in turn, can result in heart attack or stroke.