Pearly Whites Good for the Heart

My partner and I have often commented about the reasons medical malpractice often results from the failure to timely diagnose stroke and heart attack.  Both are leading causes of mortality worldwide.  A lot of medical research has been done about these problems, most of which strongly suggests what we already know – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  For example, a healthy diet and regular exercise greatly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.  Well, its time to eat your peas because something else many of us don’t enjoy looks like it also could reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke – REGULAR VISITS TO THE DENTIST.

Yes, after your mother and your dental hygienist, neurologists and cardiologists will be the next ones to tell you twice yearly teeth cleaning is important for good overall cardiovascular and vascular health.  Preliminary research in a population of 100,000 people with no history of heart problems or stroke for seven years demonstrated that those who had teeth cleaning twice a year also had a 24% lower risk of heart attack and 13% lower risk of stroke.  While the study is susceptible to criticism because it did not account for other risk factors, the results are not surprising given the known association between inflammation and the development of heart disease and stroke.  Additionally, a second study recently identified a close association between different types of gum disease and heart attack, heart failure and stroke.  So, avoid the emergency department by keeping your choppers chewing.

 More information on the relationship between heart disease and oral health of  is available at the U.S. Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/

Posted in Heart Attacks, Stroke |