A new released study gives more evidence that a link exists between health and oral health. The study found that statins in high dosage are able to reduce inflammation in gums in patients with heart disease, in just four weeks.
Statins are prescribed commonly for lowering cholesterol. Although it is necessary to have some amount of cholesterol to maintain good health, an excess of the substance will clog arteries and cause atherosclerosis, which is an inflammatory condition leading to stroke, heart attack and peripheral vascular disease.
For the recent study, researchers used 83 adults who had heart disease or were at a high risk for the disease. The participants were assigned at random either a dosage each day of atrovastatin at 80 mg or a daily dosage of 10 mg.
The study was double-blind, which is, the patients and the doctors both were not aware of the dosage of statins being administered.
Each patient went through PET/CT scans prior to starting the medication regimen, after 4 weeks of the regimen and at the end of the trial of 12 weeks.
Fifty-nine patients were in the final analysis and it showed that the group who took the high-dose experienced a reduction of gum inflammation during the span of 4 weeks.
In addition, researchers note that the gum inflammation reduction was linked closely to the lowering of atherosclerosis.
Researchers suggested the finding showed more evidence that a link existed between heart and oral health, namely that periodontal disease could be associated closely with atherosclerosis and medications improving one would improve the other.
Researchers proposed that there might be truth in the theory that oral hygiene that causes gum inflammation to reduce might also reduced the inflammation in arteries.
The group of researchers said it was important that doctors think that statins possibly do more than just lower a person’s cholesterol, when treatment options are being discussed with patients.