January 24th, 2014
The proven connection between poor oral heath and increased risk of cardiovascular disease should re-enforce the importance of new heath policy creation, focusing on reduction of sugars such as those contained in junk food, particularly fizzy drinks, say experts writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Poor oral hygiene and excess amount of sugar in the diet can cause periodontal disease and decay of the teeth-supporting bone. It is thought that chronic infection brought on by gym disease can lead to inflammation that will over time cause heart disease through atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. Despite sufficient evidence of the connection between the poor oral health and premature heart disease, the recent suggested UK national guidance on Cardiovascular disease prevention at population level does not suggest the strong need to reduce sugar consumption.
Dr Ahmed Rashid, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, who co-wrote the paper, said: "As well as having high levels of fats and salt, junk foods often contain a great deal of sugar and the effect this has on oral health may be an important additional mechanism by which junk food elevates risk of CVD." He added: "Among different types of junk food, soft drinks have raised particular concerns and are the main source of free sugar for many individuals."
The authors refer to the well-knows New York 'soda ban' controversy which has brought a lot of attention to the issue. They stress more can be done about making the sugary sodas dominating the public areas in the United States. Dr Rashid said: "The UK population should be encouraged to reduce fizzy drink intake and improve oral hygiene. Reducing sugar consumption and managing dental problems early could help prevent heart problems later in life."