High Cholesterol Treatment Can Reduce Gum Inflammation
October 15, 2013 Drugs prescribed to patients with high cholesterol levels may keep gums healthy as well as the heart, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to the research leader Dr Ahmed Tawakol from Harvard Medical School, the side effect of the drugs, called statins, is due to the fact that both gum disease and atherosclerosis (artery disease) are usually caused by inflammation. Researchers believe the same bacteria that causes inflammation to the gums can also trigger inflammation to the heart, meaning the two conditions can often co-exist. The findings can be considered proof for the known existing link between gum disease and heart disease. The study monitored patients with heart disease, or with high risk factors for heart disease, who were given different doses of statins over a period of three months. During the test period, they were also checked for signs of gum inflammation. The group that was treated with a higher dose of the drug showed signs of lower gum inflammation after four weeks of treatment, the Belfast Telegraph reported. At the same time, the study revealed that the condition of these patients' arteries had also improved by significantly reducing the amount of plaque deposited in the blood vessels. The findings from the research suggest that treatment of heart disease can positively influence gum disease and vice versa, researchers concluded.