Sunday, August 17, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bad gums go to heart?
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, August 16
Earlier it was doubtful that poor oral health could be one of the reasons for contracting heart diseases. The latest medical research has found that there is correlation between gum disease and heart disease.

The British Dental Journal in the year 2000 and the American Heart Association has recently suggested that a linkage between the two may exist, which increases the risk for heart stroke-that is otherwise known to be caused by abnormal amounts of cholesterol concentrations, high blood pressure, smoking, sedentary life style, stress etc. Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a major cause of death the world over.

Dr Vivek Saggar, a city-based dental surgeon who has worked on this correlation says that gum disease is a major risk factor for heart disease, yet few people understand the risk. “It is important that patients realise that gum disease can lead to heart disease or heart attack. Patients with heart problems should talk to their dentists about this when they attend for a check-up or treatment”.

Recently, the American Heart Association has identified a potential link between tooth loss and artherosclerosis, the buildup of artery -clogging plaque that can lead to stroke or heart attack. In this study, researchers speculate that tooth loss, often caused by gum disease, may spark chemical reactions that cause inflammation throughout the body, contributing to Coronary Artery Disease.

Dr Saggar said that majority of patients seeking dental treatment suffer from diabetes and heart diseases. “People think that dental problems are caused due heart diseases. But nobody has ever thought of vice-versa. In olden times, people used to clean their teeth with dant-manjans and neem datun,which were extremely good for oral hygiene. There were less heart diseases”, he said.

According to the British Dental Association, oral health ranks alongside smoking and a high-fat diet as a risk factor for heart disease, especially in men aged 40-50 years. “To avoid bad gums, one should eat fibre rich diet. It cleans up the whole system. More fibres in the diet are good for gums also", stressed Dr Saggar.

The dental surgeon also said that gum disease was the growth of bacterial plaque around the teeth, which can spread to the gum to cause infection and inflammation of the tissues that hold the teeth into the jawbone. Ultimately, the condition can lead to loose teeth and tooth loss. “Bacteria living in the gums increase the risk of heart disease when they lodge in the fatty plaque that clog the arteries. Bacteria may spread from the mouth and become embedded in the plaques that build up inside arteries and lead to heart attacks and heart strokes”, emphasised Dr Saggar.



Karate championship begins
Our Correspondent

Khanna, August 16
The 15th Punjab State Karate Championship organised by the district Karate Association began at the indoor stadium of Hindi Putri Pathshala Senior Secondary School Khanna.

The opening ceremony of the championship was presided over by Mr Sant Ram, president, Municipal Council, Khanna, while Mrs Harbans Kaur Dullo was the chief guest, and Mr Baldev Singh Brar was the guest of honour.


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