Your Dentist Might Stop Your Next Heart Attack

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Your Dentist Might Stop Your Next Heart Attack

By: Ken Kowalsky

As the Webmaster for a site dedicated to helping people save money when they go to the dentist, I find myself having to consistently fight two different and distinct battles; one against the average Americans reluctance to pay the high cost of modern dental care and the other is the same Americans belief that seeing a dentist regularly just isn't that important.

The first battle I have a decent chance of winning but the second battle I've had to throw my hands up in surrender; I mean if someone doesn't care about their teeth enough to have them taken care of by a dentist, what can I possibly say to convince them otherwise?

How about this; "Did you know that your next visit to the dentist could prevent a heart attack?"

Medical researchers have known for years now that there's a definite link between gum disease (i.e. gingivitis) and persons' risk for a heart disease (see Evidence is mounting, however, that information gleaned from a routine panoramic dental X-rays-wide-angle frontal images --taken to establish the baseline condition of teeth and surrounding bone-- may serve as an accurate early-warning system of risk of dying from heart attack or stroke.

According to researchers at the University of Buffalo School of Dental medicine, a study of 818 teeth and jaw x-rays of Pima Indians in Arizona found that those who had a build-up of calcified plaque in the carotid arteries were twice as likely to die from heart attack or stroke. Normally, calcified plaque is present in only about 3 percent of the general population.

An earlier study of 2,700 dental patients showed calcium deposits on each side of the carotid arteries can be spotted in x-rays of the teeth and jaw bone.

It makes sense that the dental x-rays would see the carotid artery --which carries blood from the heart to the brain and back-- so dentists should be aware that it is screening tool for cardiovascular disease. If they see signs of calcification in dental x-rays, they tell the patient to see his or her doctor ASAP.

BOTTOM LINE: Most dental insurance plans allow you a yearly dental exam at little or no cost so schedule a complete check-up, including x-rays, with your dentist ASAP. If you don't have dental insurance, consider enrolling in a discount dental plan that fits your budget and then go see a dentist ASAP.

About The Author

Kenneth Kowalsky is the webmaster of, a web site devoted to helping people to save money on dental care, including advice on choosing the best dental plan for you, inexpensive tips on easing toothache pain, little-known ways to lower your dentist bills, etc. You can contact him via e-mail at or via this toll-free number 1-877-534-4808.


ugggggggg 17.10.2009. 03:25

Why and how can i stop my toddler from having crooked teeth? He is 21 months, he doesn't use a Binky, no bottle, i brush him teeth twice a day, he already has been to the dentist for a check up, his next one is due next month.

i litterly had a heart attack ([not litterly..]) i thought he broke his tooth, to i poke at it, and i looked and one of his lower and one of his upper front teeth r crooked,

why is this happening?
and how can i stop it?

or do i wait for his teeth to fall out, and get braces later on?

BTW no its not his appearnce, i just herd if you have crooked teeth you are more prone to teeth decay.


Admin 17.10.2009. 03:25

First of all it's not the position of the teeth but their crowded condition that makes crooked teeth more prone to decay.
Second, the good news is, there is nothing at all you can do. Teeth grow like they are genetically programed to grow. If you or his father have crooked teeth, he might or might not or his teeth may resemble someone distant on either side. Baby teeth are not an indicator of adult teeth, and in fact it's more common for a baby to have perfect looking teeth and the adult teeth to come in looking pretty odd. Parents with great shaped teeth can have kids with crooked teeth and vice-versa. Do not worry! You have everything under control. When he is five or six if the dentist says they need attention, you will already know it. And you aren't going to put braces on baby teeth anyway. Try not to worry so much. I'm sure you are a great parent, but you need a grandma to tell you this is going to be fine.


Shaun 17.01.2013. 21:21

Oxycodone Best Pain Killer.? Ok little info on what I am trying to ask.

Age: 20
Gender: Male
Problem: Chronic TMJ, Migraines

About 12 I started getting sharp pain in the temple/top of my head and could never understand what it could be. After about 2 years it went away and I still had that sharp pain but never felt it unless I over worked my self on an given day.

So from 14 to about 18 and a half it never bothered me the pain, when I had a bad headache family trait I would feel it. But since my mothers death we narrowed it down to teeth grinding and it has whacked my jaw joint out and getting a MRI soon as I get the call for it.

But i recently stopped long term Paracetamol and codeine 500/30 3 times a day to maintain the pain because I am allergic to it. So my doctor who known me since i was a baby and helped my mother give birth to me was nice and understanding to give me a short term dose of endone AKA oxycodone the brand name here in Australia.

Some of you might think yes it would work its a powerful painkiller YES. But I'v been very tolerant to medications since i was a kid.
Side Story: I was depressed and on edge of killing my self since my mothers death and my father is not the best. I took 12 paracetamol and nothing happened, next day I went to the doctor never told him this but had a blood test and i got no damage to the liver or kidneys and even my doctor knows about it know. He said it is most likely I have a very, very fast liver and they just passed right though.
The night after the attempt I pooped the pills out.

And I know suicide is bad but now I am on pristiq and working really good for the depression and suicidal problems. Just damn pain.
Back to the reason for this question, I also recently went to a oral surgeon dentist and he wants a MRI.

He put me on something called DIGESIC. I looked it up and found the active ingredients in it can give heart problems even fatal and that's bad news for me, My family have heart conditions,

Propoxyphene is another name for it.

Apparently it was meant to be pulled from the market last year but my doctor said it's new. I am not taking these.

Mum died from stroke age 46
Grandfather died from Heart attack age 53

And I have most of my mothers side in me including the body build.

But paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen doesn't work
Can not have Codeine.

But the oxycodone worked 1 5mg 3 times a day with 2 paracetamol 500mg and i could function during my day no pain and never have had a history of abuse to drugs.

I rarely drink, never smoke and don't do illicit drugs.

How would I go explaining to my doctor to allowing me to have long term use. They can only give you a months worth each dispense so 1 or 2, 3 times a day 6 hours intervals with 5 repeats and get my grandmother to lock them in her safe because I live with her and she could control when i can have any in-case of abuse.


Hendricks 23.10.2012. 21:14

Murder fetish is it common? Is there such a thing as a fetish for snuff? Im always on death websites and watching snuff like the one maniac one icepick video and getting aroused from it especially the necrophilia parts. I also have fantasised of being kidnapped, raped, murdered, and my corps being eaten by another man (don't know if I'm gay or not, never been in a relationship before). Some time I also fancy me having heart attack, or cardiac arrest, and getting CPR but failed. I know its wrong to watch or even to think of someone being murdered and dismembered but I really get turned on by it...the more extreme the better.


Admin 23.10.2012. 21:14

It is good that you can be honest with yourself about these feelings. They might seem unusual but you are not the only person who has ever had this fetish. As weird or gruesome as it might seem to some people, there is obviously something about this that makes you aroused. You also seem to have a healthy outlet where you look at this kind of thing regularly without having to go act on it.

So long as you keep fantasy and reality separate, you are a free person and your mind belongs to you. You are free to think about anything you want in the privacy of your own home. If the things you are masturbating to are LEGAL photos, then you have no problem. If you have gotten to the point where you feel like you want to look up ILLEGAL stuff, then you might want to consider getting help.

Maybe you don't really have a "murder" fetish. Maybe you just get pleasure from things that are gross and shocking to other people. The things you think about in a fantasy might not be the things you enjoy in real life. Also, considering this particular fantasy is one you can only live out ONCE, that might put a *slight* damper on ever doing it again. Unless you are planning to come back in your next life and be eaten again, the thrill would be over once you did this.

Human beings are a predatory creature. We have all the SAME instincts as lions, sharks, bears and wolves. Yet some of us wonder why we get "sick" thoughts about violence, murder, rape or cannibalism. Most of us buy meat in a grocery store and we have never had to hunt or fight to survive like we have in the past. But those predator instincts are still there in the brain of every human. This does not mean that we all have to be aggressive, violent beings but KNOWING what we are gives us the power to understand ourselves and make better choices.

We ALL sometimes have sick, sadistic, brutal, murderous thoughts. Any human being who says they never had a violent thought is a LIAR! We all probably have been aroused by something we knew was unhealthy, immoral or wrong. BUT you also have a logical brain that is a lot stronger than the primitive, aggressive one our human ancestors had. You KNOW you probably don't want to be the victim of violence in real life but for whatever reason the fantasy of it turns you on and that is okay.

Many people who have fantasies about being raped or tortured are actually dealing with a lot of sexual guilt and anxiety. In their fantasy if they are "forced" to do some horrible act, they don't have to feel guilty about enjoying it because it wasn't technically their fault. This is a game some people play in their mind to avoid dealing with things they aren't really comfortable with. I am not saying you are gay and this might not apply to you...but MAYBE you should think about your sexuality and be honest with yourself about it, whatever you are into.

When you repress feelings and don't deal with your problems, they can turn inward and become a HUGE monster that you can no longer control. People make a lot of bad choices when it comes to sex and they have a lot of crazy fantasies that they get obsessed with and they don't know why. Being honest with yourself is never a bad thing. You are a free person and you are free to make your own choices. You are not a slave to your own fantasies if you choose to express them in a healthy way that doesn't hurt yourself or other people.

Look at the bright side...If you can have a healthier attitude toward your own fetish it does NOT have to be a bad thing! The world NEEDS good horror film directors, good horror and mystery writers, forensics workers, taxidermists, dentists, butchers, special effects experts in movies, morticians, coroners, crime scene clean-up crews and any other number of "gross" jobs that most people would not be able to stomach. YOU probably could!

So maybe it is time to stop beating yourself up over this. You obviously have a fetish for stuff that other people can't handle. You can choose to turn it into something harmful and dangerous OR you could see this as a gift. You are the type of person who can deal with gross things, not only that, you LIKE it! So you can either use it for something good that helps people, or you can choose to let it eat you up inside and let it become something bad. The choice is yours. Best of luck!


Mad Max 10.07.2009. 17:22

Can local anesthesia cause an anxiety attack? I was just at the dentist office to get a filling. They gave me a local anesthesia (something similar to Novocaine but I don't remember the name now). While it was kicking in, I started getting very nervous, and I started to notice that I could no longer feel the glasses over my eyes, and I couldn't tell if I had them on, or if I had them off. This freaked me out pretty bad and I had a panic attack.

I notified the dentist and he stopped the procedure, and we agreed to set up another time. What I want to know is, are there things that I can do to avoid having anxiety attacks the next time I show up at the dentist office?

About 30 minutes before seeing the dentist I took 0.5mg of ativan because I was concerned that I might have an anxiety attack, unfortunately it seems the ativan wasn't enough to stop it from coming on.

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which causes me a great deal of anxiety, and I frequently have to leave situations that become uncomfortable for me.
Benji and grandpa, both of you have mentioned exactly what my dentist mentioned. He has suggested using an anesthesia that doesn't contain epinephrine next time. It is comforting to hear from 3 sources now that this may have contributed to my anxiety.

Mad Max

Admin 10.07.2009. 17:22

Local anesthetics that contain the vasodilator adrenaline/epinephrine often cause a patients heart rate to increase and for your pulse to get stringer. This in turn can cause a patient to feel an anxiety attack coming on, especially if the patient is nervous or anxious in the dental setting...

If this is the case, avoid injections of adrenaline/epinephrine and ask for an injection with the vasoconstrictor octapressin or felypressin. This type of injection wont give the feeling in your heart.

the vasodilator is there to speed up the process of getting numb, and to keep the anesthetic in the area injected. It also reduces bleeding.

Anesthetic without a vasoconstrictor are available but it takes longer to get numb, and doesn't last as long.


Cyn 29.11.2007. 00:34

How harmful are dental x-rays? Is it bad to get more than one done in a month? I haven't been to a dentist in a very long time since I don't have insurance I just kept putting it off...I decided to get a checkup this month and had dental x-rays taken. Well I really didn't like the dentist office I went to, so I decided to go another dentist office about a week later. The other dentist I went to took dental x-rays as well. I need a root canal and both dentists were charging amounts I couldn't afford, so I decided to look for dental insurance. I have qualified for dental insurance beginning next month, but it's HMO so I have to go to another dentist...which happens to do digital x-rays only. Now I'm afraid that too many x-rays within a short period of time might be harmful. I just read an article on msn about new studies show that x-rays causes cancer in the future. I'm not sure what to do...or if dental x-rays are not that harmful... anyone know??


Admin 29.11.2007. 00:34

You were harming your body more by putting off much needed dental work. Broken down, decayed teeth, bleeding diseased gums, infected teeth that need root canals are more dangerous to your overall health than a few x-rays per month. Dental offices follow strict protocols for radiation and how much exposure a person can have. I assure you that you are safe, esp with digital x-rays, which produce 60 to 80 percent less radiation than traditional films. Also the beam of radiation is so focused, in this case on your mouth, that the exposure to the rest of the body is minimal. Periodontal gum disease, decayed teeth, and infected teeth and gums produce inflammation in the body, which has been connected to an increase risk of strokes, heart attacks, miscarriage in pregnant women, diabetes........ the list goes on. Are you aware of how much radiation you are exposed to in a day? The sun, computers, microwaves, etc. Dental x-rays are an absolute necessity for the dentist to properly diagnose your dental problems. Dentists can get into serious trouble if they work on a tooth for a filling or root canal without an x-ray. Your best bet is to educate yourself, and stop believing everything that you read, including this post. Don't take my word for it, ask your dentist, find research at your local library or university, be proactive. As a side note just about everything that we ingest, are exposed to, work with etc has been reported as a possible carcinogen. With all of the pollutants in our air and water, preservatives in our food, lead paint on our children's toys, how is anyone ever sure what exactly causes cancer, the answer is no one really knows FOR SURE!!


Tyler W 06.01.2012. 02:20

Is god ok with me taking a drugs perscribed to me for me to get my wisdom teeth pulled? Tomorow I'm getting my wisdom teeth pulled, they gave me 2 pills that I'm Gona have to take before he surgury that's Perty much Gona
Make me loopy and no really know what's goin on, their giving me this to calm me down and reduce blood pressure and slow bleeding. (that's what he told me) and I'm also getting perscribed anti-biotics wich I know is ok to take because it doesn't alter your mind, but I'm also being persons Percocet (10/325) (30 tablets) and some steriod type thing to increase the healin rate, I assume? But Im nervous and I'm afraid something will go wrong and I won't wake up, I think I have an anxiety disorder bc I'm constantly thinking bout dyieng and I'm terrified 3/8 of the day. And this isnt the way I want to die, espiacly since I haven't got my life straight yet.
Uhm. I'm 16, male, weigh 130-150?
And have a long history of a few years? Of drug abuse but managed to lower it down to just weed wich I havnt smoked for a few days. Because I feel like its... Wrong?
Also I thought I might add I did cough medicine? (8 30mg) triple c's and had a serious of panic attacks for 2 or 4 hours and also did 4? More a few days later and only had 2 panil attacks but I feel like that may have altered me but gave me a very religious experience because I thought I was literally dien bc my heart rate was between 140-160 the whole 4 hours. Maybe I was really messed up so it might not all be exactly as I say it happend.
So should I be worried or do I need to stop this? Because I don't think I can stop it but do I need to pray or what? Because I'm really lost in this situation.
Also I meet to add that their putting me to sleep during the surgury, their giving me a shot that's Gona knock me out for a lil while, and I also have a bad sinus infection -_- and it makes me worry bout the whole dieng thing

Tyler W

Admin 06.01.2012. 02:20

Yes, of course God is okay with this. He is your loving Father in Heaven and a loving Father never wants His children to suffer unnecessarily.

Any time you feel a panic attack coming on, just remember your Scriptures and that you Heavenly Father is with you, always. He will be right next to you in the dentist's office, holding your hand, and He will also be guiding the dentist's hand.

You should be very proud of yourself that you're down to just weed. You're making wonderful progress, and I know your total recovery is just down the road, because you realize that it is wrong to abuse the body that your Father gave you. You are created in His image, and I'm pretty sure He doesn't do blunts.

Take your medication as directed by the doctor, and you will be fine. And of course you should pray, not just for this, but always. It's conversing with your Father - and don't forget to listen to that small, still voice when He speaks to you - it's words of encouragement and love that He whispers to you.

(And I am praying with you, and for you).


Professor Coldheart! 05.04.2010. 01:58

Birth Control Pills -- Help!? I'm 24 and can only afford ortho tri-cyclen or ortho cyclen because I'm not insured, currently. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow and this will be my first time taking bcp. Are these okay for 'beginners'? Is there any reason the doctor would be hesitant to prescribe either of these?
Hey Me -- thanks for the info but you might want to check into Ortho tri-cyclen or Ortho cyclen because the generics are only 9 or 10 dollars a month through certain pharmacies, like Walmart,, Target, and Kroger :)

Professor Coldheart!

Admin 05.04.2010. 01:58

This prescription birth control pill is a tablet, taken once daily. It has an additional benefit of clearing acne from your skin and keeping you beautiful.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen is usually a good idea for women who are at least 15 years old, and who have to deal with with mild to moderate acne and have reached menstruation. You must have no known condition or symptom that would stop you from using a birth control pill, and do not respond to topical acne medications.

How Is This Medication Used?

To ensure that your Ortho Tri-Cyclen remains highly effective, you must take your prescription at the same every day. Come up with a time you will easily remember; for example, in the morning after your brush your teeth. Your prescription releases a low dose of hormones daily, stopping pregnancy by preventing eggs from being released.
It also causes thickening of cervical mucus, so that sperm have much more difficulty entering the uterus.
Therefore, it is easier for you to prevent pregnancy.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen also decreases the ammount of the hormone in your body which tends to cause acne. This medication has been proven through laboratory and clinical tests to help decrease light to medium acne.
Close to nine out of ten womens' skin condition improved.

What Side Effects Might Occur?

Typical side effects of Ortho-Tri-Cyclen include vomiting or nausea, sore breasts, bleeding between periods (menstrual) or a change body weight. These side effects do not always occur or persist.

If side effects persist or begin to bother you more than usual, please talk to your doctor.

Let your doctor know as soon as possible if you are seeing persistent and unusual vaginal bleeding, if you miss your period of menstruation, experience fainting or dizziness, headache, difficulty wearing contact lenses, or swollen fingers or ankles. If you have crushing or sharp pain in your chest, spontaneous shortness of breat, spontaneous headache or leg pain, yellow-tinted eyes or skin, vision problems or changes, arm or leg numbness, or extreme stomach pain; please notify your doctor immediately. In the case that any unmention effects occur, please tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.

Is Ortho Tri-Cyclen Safe?

It is one of the most safe options of birth control currently available. However, it's not for everyone. Note that if you smoke cigarettes while taking this prescription you are choosing an increased risk of heart attack, blood clots, stroke, high blood pressure, or similar diseases involving your body's blood vessels and heart.

In the case that you experience diarrhea or vomiting, this medication might not work as well. It is then suggested that you use another form of birth control as backup until your next period. This is to help prevent pregnancy.

You should not use Ortho Try Cyclen if you are pregnant. If you think you might be pregnant, talk to your doctor immediately. This medication is excreted in breastmilk. Meet with your doctor or pharmacist to talk about any dangers to your baby.

How Does This Medication Interact With Other Drugs?

Your prescription may become less effective for preventing pregnancy if used in combination with certain other types of drugs. These combinations may also increase breakthrough bleeding. Drugs such as these include rifampin, anti-epilepsy drugs like barbiturates (ex., phenobarbital), anticonvulsants like carbamazepine (Tegretol® is a brand of this medication), phenylbutazone, phenytoin (Dilantin® is one brand of this drug), and possibly specific types of antibiotics. You may need to use another form contraception when you take other medications. These other drugs may decrease the effectiveness of orally-taken contraceptives.

Tell your doctor and dentist that you're using Ortho Tri Cyclen before you undergo any medical or dental treatments, surgery, or medical emergency care. If you develop difficulty wearing contact lenses, please talk with your doctor.

Consult your pharmacist or physician/doctor before you begin taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medications. This medicine may cause dark patches of skin to appear on your face. Avoid exposing your facial skin to direct sunlight, as the patches may become darker. In the case that patches actually develop, protect your skin using sunscreen before exposing it to direct sunlight, tanning beds, etc.

What If I Miss My Dose?

This type of birth control pill should be taken daily, around the same time each day. In the case that you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. Then take the following dose on your regular schedule. According to this rule, you can take 2 doses in the same 24 hours, but you need to wait two days or more while on your regular dosing schedule before engaging in sex.


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