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A consensus paper by the editors of the American Journal of Cardiology (AJC) and Journal of Peridontology calls for additional research into the link between gum disease and cardiovascular health and recommends patients with poor dental health should be evaluated for heart disease. The paper appears in the July 1 issue of the AJC.
"This consensus paper is important because it will draw attention to the fact that patients with periodontitis, especially moderate and severe forms of the disease, can have increased risk for coronary disease," commented David Dionne, executive publisher of the AJC.
The links between poor dental health and diseases such as heart attack, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis are well known, but additional research into the connection is warranted, say the authors.
Dentists and dental care professionals are recommended to inform patients with moderate to severe periodontitis who come in for a dental checkup of their increased cardiovascular disease risk and tell them to consider a medical evaluation if they haven't had one in the last 12 months. Mild to moderate periodontitis affects 30-50 percent of adults.
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