When Should I Get Checked for Cholesterol?

It is good to know  your cholesterol numbers because having high blood cholesterol can increase your chance of developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Everyone age 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years. But if you have certain conditions, you should get checked more often.

What is Cholesterol? 

Cholesterol is a waxy substance used by our bodies that helps keeps us healthy. Cholesterol comes from two sources the body and food. In the body, cholesterol is produced by the liver and circulates through the blood. Food is the other source of cholesterol. It can be found in animal food sources such as meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. When your diet is high in saturated fats the liver produces more cholesterol.

Why is Cholesterol Important? 

Blood cholesterol levels are extremely important to your overall health. The higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risk for developing heart disease or having a heart attack. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

Extra cholesterol can cause  plaque between layers of artery walls to form, making it harder for your heart to circulate blood. The plaque can break open and cause the blood to clot. Blood clots are extremely dangerous for the health of the body. If a blood clot is in the artery that feeds the brain it can cause a stroke. If a clot is in the artery that feeds the heart the result is heart attack. It’s important to know the levels of  cholesterol in your blood so that you and your doctor can determine the best approach to lower your risk.

Heart Disease & Oral Health

While there is still discussion over the degree of the relationship, it is generally acknowledged that there is an association between heart disease and oral health.

Research suggests that people with gum disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums.

  • Oral health is the gateway to overall health.
  • The oral cavity serves as a vantage point for early detection of systemic disease

Read more about High Blood Cholesterol from the National Institute of Health.