According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, a study was conducted in Sweden to examine whether or not dentists could effectively spot signs of early cardiovascular disease. The study consisted of 200 patients aged 45+ with no record of visiting a health professional or taking medication for symptoms related to high blood pressure in the past year.
Patients were assigned a HeartScore. This score was carefully calculated by a computer and was used to determine the risk of each person dying from a heart-related disease. Those with a score of over 10% were told to consult a medical professional.
Six to twelve months after the study, researchers revisited the same patients who had a 10% or higher HeartScore. Over 50% of these patients concluded they had visited a medical professional and received medication for high blood pressure and heart disease.
How does this relate to dentists? Dentists are experienced oral health professionals who can shed light on patients’ susceptibility to heart disease. Also, as studies continue to suggest a link between oral and non-oral diseases, dentists can inform and screen their patients to ensure positive overall health and wellbeing.