Wellness Tips

Heart Health at the Dentist

Take Care of Your Heart

February is American Heart Month, which is an important time to reflect on your heart health. Despite improvements in medical care, cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States. However, there are many things you can do to lower your individual risk. Increased physical activity, a healthy diet, screening for obesity, stopping smoking, controlling cholesterol and managing diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes can all lower your risk of heart problems. The family medicine care teams at Mountain Family Health Centers are the perfect people to help you learn more about your heart health and ways to reduce your individual risk.
Did you know a dentist can also help improve your heart health? They can. At MFHC, we are constantly striving to integrate our care delivery between departments to improve patient health. Dr. Garry Millard, MFHC’s dental director, recently gave an excellent presentation to the statewide organization of community health centers on the association between chronic periodontal disease and systemic inflammation, which is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. When we address periodontal disease with regular dental evaluations and treatment we can likely lower cardiovascular risk in patients. This seems especially important in high risk patients such as those with diabetes or high blood pressure. MFHC medical and dental teams are currently working together to develop a process for cross-referrals for these necessary services. MFHC is constantly striving to improve care delivery models to improve the health of patients, and using our dentists to help lower cardiovascular risk is one more example of this.
February is American Heart Month was last modified: February 1st, 2017 by Lindsey Lewis

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