TEETH AND HEART DISEASE
ANCHOR LEAD: TREATING GUM DISEASE HELPS THE HEART, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
People whose gum disease is treated aggressively achieve better blood flow in their arteries, a recent study in the New England journal of Medicine reveals. Tony Schwartz, a dentist at Johns Hopkins, says this study is honing in on the exact relationship between gum and heart disease.
SCHWARTZ: It’s an interesting study that’s been done that demonstrates higher levels of inflammatory cytokines and even periodontal pathogens in carotid artery plaques. So the question is what role does gum disease or periodontal disease have in cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis? This current study demonstrates that aggressive periodontal treatment, that is, aggressive treatment for gum disease, improves arterial blood flow. :27
So see your dentist and have your teeth scaled regularly, Schwartz says, and if you have a family history of relatives losing teeth or having gum disease you may want to consider more frequent cleanings and other strategies. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting