Fairport, Pittsford and Rochester, NY
In my favourite book, Beat the Heart Attack Gene, there is a section entitled “A Campaign to Save One Million Lives.” As you undoubtedly know, systemic or total body health is an essential component of my philosophy of practice. I believe that the mouth, and more specifically oral infection, is a window into other systemic health issues.
Back to the book…according to the authors, “More than 100 million Americans—about half the adult population—have one or more major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading killer of men and women in this country. If current trends continue over the next five years, more than 10 million men and women will have heart attacks, and more than 4 million of them will die.”
Does this statistic shock you? It should! It means that basically every single one of us will be touched by this grim statistic—maybe a parent, other family members, friend, colleague or coworker. This is a call to action. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; other states, federal and local agencies; and the private sector launched in September of 2011 the Million Hearts® campaign to prevent 1 million heart attacks and stroke fatalities over the next five years. To learn more about this important effort, visit www.millionhearts.hhs.gov
I, for one, plan to continue doing my part to stem the tide. That means I will continue to learn all I can about the systemic implications of inflammation in the body (think gum disease) and work to educate my patients to enable them to make smart decisions and hopefully prevent a bigger problem.
Stay tuned for my next post when I will share a little from the Million Hearts 2014 report. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to ask questions at your next appointment, and most importantly do not overlook or fail to share any concerns you may have about your oral health.