Gum Inflammation and Statin Drugs

Friday, October 4th, 2013, 7:27 pm

An interesting new study about statin drugs and gum inflammation was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Statins are commonly prescribed drugs that are used for lowering cholesterol. This study showed that they also reduced inflammation associated with gum disease! The research suggests that treating gum disease may also reduce inflammation in the arteries and vice versa.

Dr. Ahmed Tawkol, co-author of the study said “Periodontal disease is characterized by chronic gum inflammation and affects approximately 50 percent of the US adult populations.” He continued, “Periodontitis and atherosclerosis are both primarily driven by inflammation. These inflammatory conditions tend to co-exist within individuals and their biologies may be intertwined.”

This study used subject with heart disease or high risk of heart disease. They were assigned to take either an 80 mg statin or a 10 mg statin for 12 weeks. Patients showed a significant reduction in gum inflammation after only 4 weeks of using the high dose statin. The reduction in gum inflammation aligned with similar improvements in their arteries. The researchers feel that this research provides even more evidence of a link between gum disease and heart disease and demonstrated that reducing the inflammation in one condition may help improve the other.

The study authors also raised the possibility that improved oral hygiene to reduce inflammation of the gums may lead to reduced inflammation of the arteries. Patients need to tell their physicians if they have gum disease and they need to tell their dentists about their heart disease and other medical conditions.

Find out more about your options for treating gum disease by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439.

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