Statins and Gum Disease

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Story Updated: Oct 4, 2013

This story should make you smile. Statins, those cholesterol lowering medications that many of us take, also appear to be good for your gums!

It's all about inflammation. Statins are designed to decrease inflammation in our arteries and lower cholesterol. Now, it appears that inflammation-fighting power extends to our mouths.

In this small study, 59 patients with heart disease or at high risk for the disease were assigned to take a statin each day for 12 weeks-some taking a higherr dose, others taking a lower dose.

All had special scans before, after a month and again at 3 months to check their gum disease.

At the end, the high dose patients showed a significant reduction in gum inflammation plus an improvement in their cholesterol.

While this is a brand new potential use for statins, it's not currently a recommended treatment for gum disease. Ask your dentist about it, the next time you're in for a checkup.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the latest breakthroughs from the world of medicine.

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