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Dental care professionals still not sure of heart disease connection
Updated: 3/20/2009 3:00:02 PM

Dental care professionals still not sure of heart disease connection While most dentists and national dental care organizations agree that gum disease and heart disease are linked to each other, the case is still out as to what the exact connection is between the two conditions.

Dr. Steven Offenbacher, a University of North Carolina research professor, told CNN that "there's a lot of evidence to suggest that inflammation can be a hidden killer."

The professor has reportedly been researching the link between the two conditions for 15 years and explained a substance produced in the body called high-sensitivity C-reactive-protein (hs-CRP) may be the suspect.

However, dental health researchers are not sure if hs-CRP is a signal for the coronary condition or an actual risk factor, said cardiologist Dr. Arshed Ouyyumi, according to the article. To add to the complicated debate, some researchers say it's possible many people have died from heart disease that was linked to poor dental health and didn't know it.

The American Dental Association has stated gum disease can occur with little or no warning signs and that the best way to prevent the condition is to administer routine dental care and dental checkups.

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