High cholesterol: The hidden warning your levels are dangerously high found in your mouth
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Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that the liver produces. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes, vitamin D, and certain hormones. Eating too many foods that contain high amounts of fat increases the level of LDL cholesterol in a person’s blood. This is known as high cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia. Can your mouth determine your risk of high cholesterol?
Research suggests there is an association between a severe gum infection and elevated cholesterol levels.
One study looked at the association between periodontitis and hyperlipidemia.
Periodontitis is a severe gum infection that can lead to tooth loss and other serious health complications.
For the study, levels of serum lipids in 45 subjects with periodontitis were measured and compared with 45 controls whose age, gender and body mass index (BMI) matched the periodontitis group.
Serum lipids essentially means fatty substances found in the blood, including cholesterol.
After analysing the data, LDL cholesterol levels were higher in the group with periodontitis.
“This study indicates that hyperlipidemia may be associated with periodontal disease,” the researchers concluded.
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For decades, researchers have probed the link between gum disease and cardiovascular health, said Harvard Health.
The site continued: “Gum disease begins when the sticky, bacteria-laden film dentists refer to as plaque builds up around teeth.
“A completely different type of plaque — made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in blood — can build up inside arteries.
“Known as atherosclerosis, this fatty plaque is the hallmark of coronary artery disease.”
High cholesterol can be diagnosed with a simple blood test called a lipid panel.
A healthcare professional will take a sample of blood and send it to a laboratory for analysis.
A lipid panel measures one’s total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health cholesterol levels should be:
LDL cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dL
HDL cholesterol: 60 mg/dL or higher
Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL.
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