Dental and heart experts are set to publish joint recommendations for medical and oral health professionals and patients. The advice will be developed by representatives from the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) and World Heart Federation (WHF) at Perio & Cardio Workshop 2019, scheduled for February 18 and 19 in Madrid.
Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, while severe periodontitis is the sixth most common chronic condition, according to the organizations.
“Both diseases affect many people worldwide, and the meeting aims to outline how periodontal health may reduce cardiovascular risk,” said Mariano Sanz, EFP chair of the event.
Multiple studies have linked periodontitis and cardiovascular diseases, noting that people with severe periodontitis are at greater risk of heart attack and stroke, particularly if they have had a previous cardiovascular event.
Oral bacteria promote the development of atherosclerotic plaques, the organizations report. Severe periodontitis also leads to inflammation throughout the body, increasing the severity of atherosclerotic plaques, blocking or reducing arterial blood flow.
Workshop participants will discuss four areas:
- Epidemiological evidence linking periodontitis and cardiovascular diseases
- Biological mechanisms for the increased risk of atherosclerosis in patients with periodontitis
- The effect of periodontal treatment on the risk of atherosclerosis
- The potential cardiovascular risks of oral interventions
The subsequent EFP and WHF consensus article will be published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, and a project will be developed to disseminate these recommendations to oral healthcare professionals, cardiologists, physicians, pharmacists, researchers, media, patients, and the public.
“There is ample evidence that periodontal treatment reduces systemic inflammation and other factors indirectly associated with the development of atherosclerosis. We hope to reach a consensus on the value of periodontal health in reducing cardiovascular risk, particularly in patients who have already had a cardiovascular event,” said Sanz.
“Prevention of cardiovascular disease is one of the WHF’s main goals. We look forward to participating in this important workshop and contributing to evidence-based recommendations in relation to cardiovascular health and periodontology,” said Pablo Perel, WHF senior science advisor.
“Prevention is a neglected area of cardiovascular disease, and we will communicate the workshop recommendations to our members around the world,” said Perel.