In a study spanning seven years, Veterans General Hospital medical doctors in Taiwan evaluated more than 100,000 study participants without a history of heart attack or stroke.
Medical researchers found those that had professional dental cleanings at least twice a year, for two years, had a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack and a 13 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those having occasional or no regular dental cleanings.
This landmark report was recently presented to the American Heart Association in Orlando, Florida, by cardiologist and co-author of the study, Dr. Emily Chen.
Dr. Chen announced that having your teeth professionally cleaned appears to offer protection against heart disease and stroke by reducing the growth of bacteria that causes inflammation.
Regular brushing and flossing goes a long way to help control plaque, the film of bacteria and food debris that covers your teeth. However, no matter how well you clean your teeth, traces of plaque left behind will harden into calculus.
Once calculus has built-up above and below the gum line, it can only be removed by professional cleaning.
Without in-office cleaning, calculus deposits irritate or inflame your gums, deepen your gum pockets and create infection. Untreated, gum disease damages the tissues that hold your teeth in place and you can eventually lose your teeth.
But that's just part of the story. Previous studies link oral bacteria entering the bloodstream to the increased risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory infections, digestive disorders, low pre-term birth rates and pancreatic cancer.
It's easy to see that you cant be totally healthy without healthy gums. Professional cleanings not only brighten your smile, they can boost your health and, maybe, even increase your life-expectancy.
Daniel P. Sweeney, MA, DDS
Kate Sweeney Regan, MS, DDS
Maryellen Sweeney Dumais, BS, RDH
539 Adams Street, Milton, MA 02186