Every year more than 2.5 million older Americans may be victims of elder abuse, and in some cases dentists serve as the first line of defense.
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Research shows over 90 percent of all systemic diseases – including heart disease – have oral symptoms. A sore or painful jaw could indicate an impending heart attack or heart disease, making biannual visits to the dentist an important investment in one's oral as well as overall health.
Regular dental examinations are crucial for patients with a history of heart disease to check for any signs of oral pain, infection or inflammation. "I've helped patients with heart conditions by diagnosing dental problems that were causing local infections," says Dr. Edington. "By eliminating a local infection involving a tooth or the gums, patients have been able to decrease blood pressure medications and improve overall health."
Communication with your dentist and doctor is critical in the proper diagnosis and treatment of all diseases, especially heart disease, since the longer it goes untreated, the greater the risk of heart attack.
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