The American Heart Association managed to stir quite a controversy in the medical field, by releasing a statement according to which there is actually no evidence available that gum disease causes stroke or heart disease. Moreover, the AHA also denied that through proper treatment of gum disease, heart disease can actually be improved.
One of the main reasons for which adults lose their teeth is because of severe gum disease complications. Several studies in the past few years have struggled to prove that untreated gum disease brings about other health complications such as diabetes, heart failure, cancer, osteoporosis, low weight births, Alzheimer’s or other.
Researchers have reviewed in depth studies of the past 50 to 60 years, and even though they agree there is a link between gum disease and heart complications, they say gum disease is not the main culprit. According to Peter B. Lockhart, DDS, chairperson of the oral medicine department at Carolinas Health Care System, there does not exist conclusive scientific evidence, which would point out that gum disease causes thickening of the artery walls (Atherosclerosis), heart attack or stroke.
Lockhart also reveals that the primary goal of this particular statement is to shed a clearer light upon what is medically known and accepted regarding the link between gum disease and other health complications. This does not mean that people have to neglect treating their gum disease complications just because it was not found to lead to a stroke or a heart attack.
Moreover, patients with untreated gum disease should not be disappointed or anxious about developing such severe complications throughout the body, just because they simply couldn’t afford to treat yet their gum disease. The patients deserve to know the truth about gum disease and its risk factors, because until now the greatest majority of people knew that untreated gum disease might lead to such severe complications throughout the body.
There are also many experts who disagree with the statement of the AHA, by saying that throughout the years, it has been clearly noted than gum disease and heart complications frequently occur together.
Therefore, there must be a clear link between the two, only more in-depth studies are needed. It does not matter on which side patients stand in this controversy; it is important that they understand that treating gum disease is extremely beneficial for the health. Patients should not get oral health treatments or any kind of treatment only in order to safeguard themselves from life threatening disease. They should get treatment because that improves overall health.