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Healthy gums increase longevity

 Good gum health increases longevity in heart disease patients

Healthy gums increase longevity

Patients with cardiovascular disease who retain all their teeth and do not have periodontal disease are longer-lived than those who have lost teeth and/or have diseased gums. 

The relationship between dental health, particularly periodontal disease, and cardiovascular disease has received increasing attention over the past two decades. However, the situation of those people with heart disease, and who therefore need to take more intensive preventive measures since they present a high risk of suffering a cardiovascular episode, has not been sufficiently researched. This deficit has been covered with a new study, which also demonstrates the benefits of brushing and flossing.

People with heart disease who have lost all their teeth have almost twice the risk of dying from any cause than those who keep all their teeth. This is one of the main conclusions reached by a study carried out by researchers at the University Hospital of Uppsala (Finland) and published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. Specifically, they determine that the loss of each dental piece represents a greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, as well as of dying not only from cardiovascular disease but from any cause.

The study, the first to analyze the effect of tooth loss on people diagnosed with heart disease, was carried out with the participation of 15,456 patients from 39 countries. And to classify them, the authors included them in five groups according to their number of dental pieces: from 26 to 32 -human beings have a total of 32 pieces-, from 20 to 25, from 15 to 19, from 1 to 14, and no pieces.

During the 3.7 years of the study's follow-up, 1,453 major cardiovascular episodes were recorded - cases of myocardial infarction, among others -, 705 deaths from cardiovascular causes, 1,120 deaths from any cause, and 301 strokes. Compared to those who kept all their teeth, participants who had lost all their teeth had a 27% increased risk of suffering a cardiovascular episode, 85% of death from cardiovascular causes, 81% of death from any cause, and 67% of suffering a stroke.

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