Can mouth bacteria give you a heart attack?

Due to the discovered relationship between dental and heart disease announced by the United States Surgeon General in 2000 has established a unique operation between dentistry and medicine.  Patients who have systemic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, also typically have multiple missing teeth.  As a result of the missing teeth, these are the patients who require the services of implant dentists.  Therefore, implant dentistry requires dentists to understand these diseases and the many medicines that these patients are taking to treat their disease.  

Periodontal disease may be an independent predictor of incident type 2 diabetes, according to research published in Diabetes Care.

“We found that over 20 years of follow-up, individuals who had periodontal disease at baseline were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life,” said Ryan T. Demmer, PhD, MPH, associate research scientist at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University.

“I think this paper is very important for demonstrating that periodontal disease predicts incident diabetes. There is growing recognition on the part of the medical community that periodontal disease has a more complex relationship with diabetes than previously thought.”

Robert G. Nelson, MD, PhD

Staff Clinician, Diabetes and Arthritis Epidemiology Section,

Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, NIDDK, NIH


Like these and other studies have been made all around the world and with this new understanding, the Dentist’s roll in medicine has been dramatically elevated.  We are now responsible for diagnosing and treating gum disease because it is related to diseases that affect other parts of the body, not just the mouth.  Is there a cause and effect; dental disease causing heart disease? Are bacteria that cause periodontal disease also causing heart disease?  That seems to be the case.  The recently released book by my friend and teacher William D. Nordquist, (The Stealth Killer: Is Oral Spirochetosis the Missing Link in the Dental-Heart Disease Labyrinth?), connects the dots from one hundred plus years of dental and medical research to establish a compelling hypothesis to explain the missing link between dental and systemic disease. These are serious questions and they greatly increase the responsibility of dentists for their patients who need any kind of dental treatment. 


That is why we at AGUILERA LASER DENTAL have an in office high power digital microscope to do oral screenings in our patients.