Fairport, Pittsford and Rochester, NY
If you will refer back to my last post, you will recall that I was on my soapbox. Preventing disease and saving lives is important to me—yes, even to dentists! You see inflammation in the body is a documented cause of heart disease and strokes. Reducing risk factors like smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are vitally important, but so is identifying oral infections in the mouth. And who better to proactively identify this? Your friendly family dentist; yet not all dentists aggressively diagnose and treat gum disease. I do and have for a very long time!
Did you know that addressing the aforementioned contributors could save 500,000 lives during the course of the five-year Million Hearts initiative? I find that fascinating. I find it even more fascinating that relatively few people have heard about this important effort.
Let’s face it…popular culture is far more interesting to most people…not implementation of systemic health treatment modalities to prolong life. So, when it comes down to it more people know the details on Kim Kardashian than the importance of oral health. If you ask me, it just makes no sense and the media I suspect has given far more attention to the former than the latter.
Enough on that; let’s get to what really matters—a few results to date on Million Hearts:
• More than 1 million visits to the Million Hearts website.
• More 48,000 E-newsletters have been distributed.
• More than 63,000 Facebook fans
Probably the most interesting statistic gleaned from the initiative’s website is that more than 100,000 Americans quit smoking permanently and an estimated 1.6 million smokers attempted to quit.
Nowhere in the latest report from September 2014 could I find any substantial references to “oral health” or “oral infection” or “gum disease.” This bothered me, so I returned to Beat the Heart Attack Gene where the authors had this to say: “We believe something crucial is missing from the Million Hearts initiative: tailoring tests and treatments to each patient’s individual needs.”
In my next post, I will expound further on my belief in the importance of oral health to total body health. Thanks once again for reading. I appreciate the value my patients place on my philosophy of practice.