Does Cholesterol Medication Affect Dental Health?

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CholesterolMillions of Americans take medication to lower their cholesterol, called statins. Recent studies have investigated how these medications could affect your dental health.

Researchers found that people taking cholesterol medication had increased calcification of their tooth’s pulp chamber and reduced pulp chamber height. The pulp chamber is the inside of the tooth where there are nerves and the tooth’s blood supply. An reduction in pulp chamber height and/or increased calcification could make it more difficult for a dentist to do a root canal should you need one performed.

On the positive side, researchers also found that people who were taking statins, or cholesterol medication, had less gum inflammation, or periodontal disease. Many people take statins to lower their cholesterol and reduce inflammation in their arteries. It appears that there could be a possible link between the inflammation in a persons gums to the inflammation in their arteries.

This link between periodontal disease, gum inflammation, and atherosclerosis, arterial inflammation, suggests that treatments for one disease may benefit the other as well. A visit to your dentist to improve your teeth and oral hygiene may lead to reduced inflammation of the arteries.

You can improve your oral health simply by having a professional cleaning done by a licensed hygienist. Daily brushing and flossing will also help to reduce gum inflammation.