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Category: General Health
The evidence linking periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease has been growing for years, with medical researchers convinced that inflammation is the uniting characteristic of the two conditions.
Now, in order to provide unified guidelines and bring the expertise of two specialties together, a consensus paper has been published on the issue by two leading publications, the American Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Periodontology.
"Both periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are inflammatory diseases, and inflammation is the common mechanism that connects them," says Dr David Cochran, president of the AAP and chair of the Department of Periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. "The clinical recommendations included in the consensus paper will help periodontists and cardiologists control the inflammatory burden in the body as a result of gum disease or heart disease."
Now, in addition to their normal duties, cardiologists may check your mouth and your dentist may ask about heart disease in your family. The inflammation seen in both diseases can often be detected by a CRP test, with increased levels of CRP in the blood indicating the kind of systemic inflammation that poses a threat.
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