Why Is A Healthy Mouth Good For Your Body? A recent study published by Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that “improving periodontal condition of the general population could reduce overall mortality.” In the largest study of its kind, researchers retrospectively study over 57,000 women over age 55 in the Women’s Health Initiative program to conduct the on the relationship between oral health and mortality. They followed them for an average of seven years. Few studies have reported associations between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in older women. They note that “how many teeth you have in your mouth at a given point in time” is a pretty good indication of your “overall, cumulative health status,” as one researcher told CNN. This study found that women who had had periodontal disease were at 46 percent higher risk for death from any cause than those without these dental problems. Furthermore, these findings suggest that improving periodontal condition of the general population could reduce overall mortality.
According to background information from the researchers, gum disease affects nearly two-thirds of US adults aged 60 and older. Complete tooth loss affects about one-third of US adults 60 and older, and often results from gum disease. “Dental hygiene is an important part of our patients’ overall health, and perhaps with this study it may prompt us to further investigate its direct impact on the heart,” said Dr Rachel Bond, associate director for Women’s Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.