Believe it or not, but the risk of heart disease can be greatly reduced in women who take good care of their dental health and regularly visit the dentist. However, this is not the same for men. This is proven by new research led by UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, and presented in the September end issue of the journal Health Economics.
The analytics compared people who regularly visited a dentist during the previous two years with those who did not. In total, nearly 7,000 people ages 44-88 enrolled in the Health and Retirement Study, with data collected every two years from 1996 to 2004. The study followed the same individuals over time, and each biennial survey included questions on whether subjects had visited the dentist and whether they had experienced a heart attack, stroke, angina or any congestive heart failure during the previous two years.
As mentioned above, the research proved that the benefits of visiting a dentist did not include men. This did not completely surprise the researchers. Dr. Timothy Brown, assistant adjunct professor of health policy and management at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health says “Many studies have found associations between dental care and cardiovascular disease, but our study is the first to show that general dental care leads to fewer heart attacks, strokes, and other adverse cardiovascular outcomes in a casual way.” Co-author Stephen Brown adds “We think the findings reflect differences in how men and women develop cardiovascular disease. Other studies suggest that estrogen has a protective effect agains heart disease because it helps prevent the development of atherosclerosis. It’s not until women hit menopause around age 50 to 55 that they start catching up with men.”
So, this new research obviously shows that there are multiple benefits with going to the dentist regularly. Think about that the next time you might be dreading the dentist drill!Regular Visits to Dentist Prevent Heart Disease in Women