How Your Cholesterol Impacts Your Oral Health

Posted on 2/20/2019 by Brian Rounds, DDS
How Your Cholesterol Impacts Your Oral HealthYou may know that your oral health and overall health are connected in many ways, especially when it comes to your heart. What you might not know is that a high cholesterol diagnosis might also impact your mouth. Read on to learn more.

What is High Cholesterol?

If your doctor has told you that you have high cholesterol, this means that your blood contains too much fat. Cholesterol is a wax-like substance that is found in the fats within the blood. While your body requires a certain amount of cholesterol to create healthy cells, high cholesterol can increase your heart disease risk. Further, high cholesterol may cause fatty deposits to develop within the blood vessels.

Can Your High Cholesterol Medications Affect Your Mouth?

Recent studies have examined how a type of high cholesterol medication might affect dental health. These medications are known as statins, and researchers have found that statins may lead to increased calcification within the pulp chamber of the teeth. This condition makes it difficult to perform root canals, so in the event that your teeth are damaged or diseased and require this tooth-saving procedure, it may not be a possibility.

If your high cholesterol leads to heart disease, other problems may exist. Heart disease and oral health are connected via the spread of bacteria from the mouth to other parts of the body via the blood stream. When bacteria make their way to the heart, they can attach to damaged areas and lead to inflammation. This could cause a serious illness known as endocarditis – an infection of the heart lining. Other heart conditions such as clogged arteries may be associated with oral bacteria.

If you've been diagnosed with high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, or any other chronic health condition, make sure that you let us know. Good dental hygiene is more important than ever, and we can help to ensure your mouth stays healthy.
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