December 12th, 2013
Statins is a commonly prescribed medication that helps patients with heart disease. But what’s more is that a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology demonstrated that statins can also be beneficial for those suffering from gum disease.
Periodontal disease is marked by chronic gum inflammation that affects approximately half of the U.S. adult population. Dr. Ahmed Tawkol of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School notes that there is a connections between heart and gum disease: both periodontitis and atherosclerosis are driven by inflammation. These inflammatory conditions are often seen to occur together, indicating to researchers that their biologies may be related.
A study was administered to test this theory. Patients with either heart disease or considered to have high heart disease risk were asked to take 80 mg of statin or 10 mg of stain daily for 12 weeks. PET/CT scans were used to observe inflammation over the course of the study. Results indicated that the 59 patients in the study demonstrated a significant reduction in gum inflammation, some after only 4 weeks of treatment. The researchers also found that the improvement of inflammation in the gums related closely with the improvement seen in inflammation in the arteries.
This study provides strong evidence that links atherosclerosis and periodontal disease. This research opens doors to new methods of treatments. Because of the relationship between these two diseases, medications that originally targeted one of these diseases may also be beneficial for the other. These results also points to better and improved oral hygiene to reduce inflammation in the gums can also lead to reduced atherosclerosis.
This study again shows the strong relationship between oral health and overall systemic health. Maintaining proper oral care can really go a long way for the body as a whole. Keeping up with oral hygiene can truly lead to a healthier smile and a healthier you!
If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to ask Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group or our periodontist, Dr. Ghazwan Ghazi. We would all be more than happy to help. Please contact us at (781)237-9071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.