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Greensboro, NC 27408

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October 24, 2013

Can Cholesterol Medication Improve the Health of your Gums too?

A study released earlier this month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed a link between high doses of cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) and decreased gum inflammation.

Statins exert their effects in one of three ways: lowering Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL), reducing inflammation, and altering arterial plaque. The current study supports the idea that statins reduce inflammation.

In the study, 59 patients with heart disease took a statin every day for 12 weeks. Some were taking a higher dose while others were taking a lower dose. All had special scans before, at one month, and at three months to check the level of gum disease. At the end of the study, it was clear that those patients taking a higher dose of a statin drug had the most significant reduction in gum inflammation plus an improvement in their cholesterol levels.

While this is a very new potential use for statins, it is not recommended for treatment of gum disease at this time because the results need to be confirmed in a larger clinical trial.

There has long been a theory linking gum disease and atherosclerotic disease. In this particular study, the gums were benefitted by the treatment of the arteries. Many more studies have already proven that the arteries benefit from treatment of the gums. So, for the health of your teeth, gums, AND heart, brush twice a day, floss daily, and visit our office twice per year for your routine hygiene maintenance.

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Greensboro, NC 27408
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