For all the years I've worked at EBN, I've heard dental experts say that part of the importance of dental insurance and regular dental care is that oral health is directly linked to overall physical health - that preventive oral care can reduce the risk of everything from heart disease to low birth-weight babies.

So, imagine my surprise to see a statement this spring from the American Heart Association that says, based on review of more than 500 journal articles and studies, an AHA committee has concluded there's no proof that gum disease leads to heart disease or stroke - or that preventive dental care can reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. Further, the committee revealed, some dental procedures - including ones to treat gum disease - could even increase the risk.

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