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A new study has suggested that taking cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins could have a positive impact on gum (periodontal) disease.
Researchers at the University of Helsinki found that patients with periodontal disease who were taking statins had significantly less infected gum tissue than those who were not, Reuters reported.
Separate research has previously shown a link between gum and cardiovascular disease, with scientists suggesting that periodontal disease may contribute to heart problems because of the extra inflammatory pressure it puts on the body.
Taking this information, the Finnish researchers looked at 100 patients to see if statins, which are used to treat heart disease, could in turn have an effect on gum disease.
They found that overall, statin users had 43 per cent less inflammation of the gums. For non-smokers specifically, the figure was 64 per cent lower.
The importance of tackling periodontal disease, which has a high prevalence rate in the US, cannot be overstated, according to dental experts.
It has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly blood, lung, kidney and pancreatic cancers.
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