WebMD lists them as follows: high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high stress lifestyle, lack of exercise, high fat and cholesterol diet, and carrying too much weight, especially around the waistline (1).
Add one more, however, to the risk factors for heart disease: periodontal disease. Yes, conditions in your mouth influence your risk for heart disease and all sorts of other inflammatory diseases as well. Dr. Richard Stein, American Heart Association spokesperson and director of preventative cardiology at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City declares, “[I] regularly counsel patients worried about their risk of heart attack or stroke to incorporate good periodontal care in their preventative strategies, just as they would include exercise, healthy diets, and appropriate medications” (2).
Frankly, we are likely used to hearing medical professionals recommend lowering the risks of heart disease by intervention strategies related to the factors listed by WebMD; however, not many have been informed about the medical dental connection.
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