We’ve talked previously about gum disease and the risks it poses to teeth in the long term. Emergent research suggests, however, that gum disease could influence some other dangers to the rest of the body.
Oct. 31 2022 in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, the University of Hiroshima published a study showing a strong correlation between periodontal disease and fibrosis. Fibrosis is the scarring of the left side of the heart that often causes irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia).
Researches removed the left appendages from affected hearts involved in the study to examine more thoroughly. With a high degree of consistency, they found that in almost all cases the hearts affected by fibrosis belonged to individuals also affected by periodontitis.
What’s more, researchers also found the severity of one directly affected the severity of the other. In cases where a participant had particularly bad periodontitis, the degree of damage from fibrosis was also more significant.
While these findings are pretty compelling, it is important to note that researchers did not find a directly causal relationship between the two conditions. In other words, while it’s significant that the presence of one often occurs alongside the other, there isn’t definitive proof that one causes the other.
All the same, it’s something to be aware of as parents, both for your own health and for your children. Periodontal disease does seem to have negative affects on other areas of the body, making it more dangerous than simply a condition of the gums that can affect teeth.
What Is Atrial Fibrosis?
The Mayo Clinic describes atrial fibrosis as an irregular heartbeat, and often a heartbeat that is much faster than usual.
Some risks & symptoms associated with fibrosis include:
- Increased risks of blood clots
- Increased risks of stroke
- Increased risks of heart failure
- Chest pain and fatigue
- Reduced capacity for physical exercise
- Chronic dizziness
If you have questions about gum disease in children or steps to take to prevent it, call our office to schedule a visit today. These are things we go over with all our ongoing patients, and we are happy to establish a new dental home for parents and kids searching.
If you’re looking for a new dental home, call our office today to schedule a visit!
Hiroshima University. “Gum infection may be a risk factor for heart arrhythmia, researchers find.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 January 2023. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/01/230127131143.htm>.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Atrial fibrillation – Symptoms and causes.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Feb. 2019, <www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-fibrillation/symptoms-causes/syc-20350624>.