Gum Problems Can Lead to Heart Trouble

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Proper oral care is one way to keep theheart healthy.American Heart Associationspokesman Richard Stein, MD, said thathe regularly advises patients concernedabout their risk for heart attack andstroke to include good periodontal care intheir preventive strategies.

Chronic periodontal disease appears totrigger an inflammatory process that contributesto the buildup of cholesterol-richplaque on the artery walls. "People whohave chronic infections—and gum diseaseis one of the major chronic infections—are at increased risk later in life foratherosclerosis and coronary heart disease,"said Dr. Stein.

The results of a study reported last yearin Circulation support Dr. Stein's claim.The study found that patients with highlevels of bacteria also were at greater riskfor atherosclerosis. Individuals can helpprevent potential cardiovascular troubleby flossing and brushing with an antibacterial/antigingivitis toothpaste.