Dynamic Dental Wellness | Soft Tissue Laser, Mercury Free and LAFTR (Laser Assisted Functional Therapeutic Release)

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

January 23, 2024


Dental health isn’t just important to keep your teeth in good shape, but it’s vital for keeping your whole body in good shape. It isn’t a secret in the holistic community that your teeth are connected to your whole body but science has proven that bacteria in the oral cavity can have detrimental consequences, especially to heart health and diabetes. 

The Science

Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that when untreated can lead to irreversible damage to tissue and bone – which can lead to the loss of teeth. There are roughly 800 different species of bacteria that is present in human dental calculus. Bacteria in the plaque not only has the ability to break down the tissues in the gums, but also can trigger noxious inflammatory responses and send toxins into the bloodstream. The most reputable and highest risk (for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke) pathogens are Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, treponema denticola, tannerella forsythia and porphyromonas gingivalis. Ask your holistic dentist about testing for periodontal bacteria to find out if you are at risk!

Link to Diabetes

Diabetes is an inability to produce insulin, whether inherited and/or acquired. The link between diabetes and periodontal bacteria has been explored and although there hasn’t been a pinpoint on the exact mechanism that connects the two, studies have suggested that patients with diabetes have favorable microenvironments for bacteria to thrive. Oxidative stress also appears to be a link between diabetes and periodontitis because it can activate pro-inflammatory pathways. Research and studies are still continuing to work towards confirming the link between periodontitis and diabetes.

Link to Cardiovascular Disorders and Events

Different cardiovascular events that have links to periodontal disease include myocardial infarction (heart attack), peripheral artery disease, and stroke. Myocardial infarction and periodontal disease have several risk factors in common like smoking and inflammation which suggests the two are connected. A study done in the 1980s observed that the patients with history of heart attacks had worse dental health than the control group. Studies done on mice have proven the link between certain periodontal pathogens and heart attacks, but because both periodontal disease and myocardial infarction are multifactorial, there is ongoing work being done to confirm the relationship between the two. A recent study also demonstrated that patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD) have presented a higher risk of developing periodontal disease versus a patient who does not have PAD. The study evaluated patients who have undergone bypass surgery and found that a majority also had periodontal infection, specifically Porphyromonas gingivalis. Worldwide, one of the most common fatality causes is stroke. Several studies have been done that suggest periodontal disease to be a potential cause of stroke. One group observed elevated serum levels of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis with strokes. More specifically, the group observed that stroke patients had deep pockets contaminated with Porphyromonas gingivalis – solidifying the connection between this particular bacteria and stroke. Despite the evidence from these studies, studies are continually being done to strengthen the evidence of periodontitis with cardiovascular disorders. 

With new studies and research, it is important to understand the connection between oral health and whole-body health. Make an appointment with a biologic dentist for an exam and consultation today to learn more.

Contact us to make an appointment today!