Tooth Scaling Lowers Risk for Heart and Stroke?

Professional dental cleanings may include tooth scaling, particularly when gingivitis has been diagnosed (the precursor to gum disease). Since 75% of the population has gingivitis, it is vital to have a professional exam, dental cleaning and possibly scaling when necessary, particularly following the results of a recent study.

Study results presented at the Scientific Session 2011 for the American Heart Association demonstrated that over 50,000 people who received professional cleaning with tooth scaling were nearly 25% less likely to have a heart attack and nearly 15% less likely to have a stroke over a seven year time period.

None of the participants had a history of heart attack or stroke at the beginning of the study. The lead presenter of the information remarked that professional tooth scaling appears to reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth that can lead to heart disease or stroke. In addition, the type of periodontal disease predicts degree of risk for heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.

Other study results have supported this evidence. For example, there was a study involving nearly 8,000 people who have periodontal disease. The results demonstrated that nearly 70% of those with fewer than 21 teeth had an increased risk for heart attack.

There is nothing that can replace the value of a professional dental cleaning when it comes to oral health. Professional dental cleanings prevent the need for more invasive dental treatment, reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth loss,  and may reduce the risk for certain diseases.  Both adults and children should have a professional dental cleaning at least twice a year and more often when prescribed. For example, people with gum disease may be advised to undergo a dental cleaning every three months.

In the end, it’s important to follow up on your dentist’s advice. Just think you may be lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke.

If you are interested in dentistry, contact Dr. Mark Sweeney, an Austin Texas cosmetic dentist, for a consultation at 512-380-1300.