Oral health professionals are in a daily position to educate patients about the relationship between systemic diseases and periodontal disease, and to mitigate confusion caused by the AHA's statement and press releases, which were not incorrect but highlighted specific aspects of the research. A new article sponsored by Colgate does a wonderful job of explaining the types of evidence, association and causations, and evaluation research results. Practical applications are also discussed.(5)References
In summary, we do know that there is an association between periodontal disease and atherosclerotic vascular disease. Studies have not proved that periodontal disease is a cause of atherosclerotic vascular disease. As well, it is not confirmed that heart disease or stroke can be prevented, or the clinical course of atherosclerotic vascular disease modified, by therapeutic periodontal interventions.(4) Stay tuned!
1. Lockhart PB, Bolger AF, Papapanou PN, et al; on behalf of the American Heart Association Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis,and Kawasaki Disease Committee of the Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease, and Council on. Periodontal Disease and Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease: Does the Evidence Support an Independent Association?: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation
. 2012. 22; 125: 2520–2544. 2. American Heart Association. No proof that gum disease causes heart disease or stroke. Available at: www.newsroom.heart.org/pr/aha/_prv-no-proof-that-gum-disease-causes-232043.aspx
. Accessed September 2, 2012. 3. American Dental Association. AHA statement: no causative link found between periodontal disease and heart disease. Available at: www.ada.org
. Accessed September 2, 2012. 4. Niederman R and Weyant R. Editorial: Periodontal Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Periodontology, and the Rooster Syndrome. Evidence-Based Dentistry
(2012) 13, 34-36. doi:10.1038/sj.ebd.6400851. 5. Borgnakke WS. A Closer Look at the Evidence. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene
. July 2012; 10(7): 11-14.