Your Dentist Might Stop Your Next Heart Attack
Reprint of an article
by Ken Kowalsky
from the Article Codex website,
Introduction by Dr. Don Rose, Writer,
A growing body of evidence points
to gum disease and other dental dilemmas as prime indicators of potential heart
problems. Taking steps to protect our gums and teeth, as well as to correct gum
and dental problems, might help prevent heart attacks and other cardio catastrophes.
The article below by Ken
discusses this gum-heart link. --Don Rose
As the Webmaster for a site
dedicated to helping people save money when they go to the dentist, I find myself
having to consistently fight two different and distinct battles: one against the
average American’s reluctance to pay the high cost of modern dental care and the
other is the same American’s belief that seeing a dentist regularly just isn't that
The first battle
I have a decent chance of winning but the second battle I've had to throw my hands
up in surrender; I mean if someone doesn't care about their teeth enough to have
them taken care of by a dentist, what can I possibly say to convince them otherwise?
How about this:
"Did you know that your next visit to the dentist could prevent a heart attack?"
have known for years now that there's a definite link between gum disease (i.e.
gingivitis) and persons' risk for heart disease (see
Evidence is mounting, however, that information gleaned from a routine panoramic
dental X-ray’s wide-angle frontal images -- taken to establish the baseline condition
of teeth and surrounding bone -- may serve as an accurate early-warning system of
risk of dying from heart attack or stroke.
According to researchers
at the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, a study of 818 teeth and
jaw x-rays of Pima Indians in
found that those who had a build-up of calcified plaque in the carotid arteries
were twice as likely to die from heart attack or stroke. Normally, calcified plaque
is present in only about 3 percent of the general population.
An earlier study
of 2,700 dental patients showed calcium deposits on each side of the carotid arteries
can be spotted in x-rays of the teeth and jaw bone.
It makes sense
that the dental x-rays would see the carotid artery --which carries blood from the
heart to the brain and back-- so dentists should be aware that it is screening tool
for cardiovascular disease. If they see signs of calcification in dental x-rays,
they tell the patient to see his or her doctor ASAP.
BOTTOM LINE: Most dental
insurance plans allow you a yearly dental exam at little or no cost so schedule
a complete check-up, including x-rays, with your dentist ASAP. If you don't have
dental insurance, consider enrolling in a discount dental plan that fits your budget
and then go see a dentist ASAP.
is the webmaster of DiscountDental4U.net, a web site devoted to helping people save
money on dental care, including advice on choosing the best dental plan for you,
inexpensive tips on easing toothache pain, little-known ways to lower your dentist
bills, etc. You can contact him via e-mail at
via this toll-free number 1-877-534-4808.
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Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles
on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.
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