Dr. Chauncey W. Crandall, author of Dr. Crandall’s Heart Health Report newsletter, is chief of the Cardiac Transplant Program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He practices interventional, vascular, and transplant cardiology. Dr. Crandall received his post-graduate training at Yale University School of Medicine, where he also completed three years of research in the Cardiovascular Surgery Division. Dr. Crandall regularly lectures nationally and internationally on preventive cardiology, cardiology healthcare of the elderly, healing, interventional cardiology, and heart transplants. Known as the “Christian physician,” Dr. Crandall has been heralded for his values and message of hope to all his heart patients.

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Gum Disease and Heart Risk

Wednesday, 19 Oct 2011 10:03 AM


When you take care of your teeth, you're also protecting your heart.

Cardiologists hardly ever look inside their patients’ mouths. But when I treated heart transplant patients at the Medical College of Virginia’s VA hospital in the late ’80s and early ’90s, I always checked their teeth and gums.

We don’t yet know exactly how gum disease affects the heart, but we’re beginning to get a pretty good idea.

First, all people have millions of bacteria living in their mouths. When a person has gum disease, that bacteria can get in the bloodstream through open sores. These bacteria then stick to plaque in coronary arteries, making the narrowing and inflammation even worse.

Another potential link focuses on the body’s inflammatory response. When you have gum disease, your body is in a chronic, inflammatory state, which contributes to the likelihood atherosclerotic plaque will form.

In addition, when your arteries become inflamed, it’s more likely that newly formed, soft plaque will rupture and create a blood clot that blocks an artery completely, leading to a heart attack.

So you must pay attention to your teeth in order to protect your heart! This means brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing daily, and regularly visiting the dentist.




© HealthDay

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