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Healthy Heart Reports

Tooth Loss And Heart Attacks

A study from Harvard School of Public Health shows that doctors who have gum disease are at high risk for having blocked arteries in their legs. Many previous studies have reported the association between gum disease and heart attacks and strokes. This study shows that men who suffer from gum disease have one and a half times the chance of having blocked arteries to their legs, while losing teeth from gum disease doubles chances. Having lost a tooth in the last six years markedly increased a person's chances of having blocked arteries.

For years, doctors were unable to explain why many people with high cholesterol levels do not suffer heart attacks, while many with low levels suffer heart attacks. Recent research show that inflammation is a stronger predictor of heart attacks than cholesterol, and inflammation is often caused by infection. If you have infected gums, a check with your dentist could save your life.

Oral health and peripheral arterial disease. Circulation, 2003, Vol 107, Iss 8, pp 1152-1157. HC Hung, W Willett, A Merchant, BA Rosner, A Ascherio, KJ Joshipura. Joshipura KJ, Harvard Univ, Sch Dent Med, Dept Oral Hlth Policy & Epidemiol, 188 Longwood Ave, Boston,MA 02115 USA


Copyright 2003
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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