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Worldwide, periodontal disease may affect as many as three of four people, but only about 15 percent get treated. That spells trouble for the heart and other parts of the body.
Gum disease creates a higher risk for heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. In one study, men with extensive gum disease were more than four times as likely to develop heart disease (the nation’s leading cause of death) than men with healthy gums. Another study involving Arizona’s Pima Indians, who rarely smoke, showed those with gum disease were more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack than those whose gums were healthy.
Periodontal disease is the most common chronic infectious disease in the world, more common than the cold. Population surveys and studies done in the United States indicate that more than 50 percent of adults have gingivitis and 30 percent have periodontitis, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. The problem increases with age.
The bottom line is that periodontal disease may be far more serious threat to your health than previously realized. To prolong your life, take action now to protect your gums. See a dentist.