Dr. Mark Espinoza says Dental X-Rays Can Be Used to Detect Possible Strokes

Dr. Mark Espinoza, of Central Dental Care in Phoenix, says that a trip to the dentist may help determine risk for a stroke. Panoramic dental x-rays may provide a new tool to screen for potentially life-threatening heart conditions and stroke risk.
Dr. Mark Espinoza
Dr. Mark Espinoza
PHOENIX - March 18, 2015 - PRLog -- The American Stroke Association (ASA), says someone in the United States has a stroke every forty-five seconds. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in America today and the #1 cause of serious disability. But a trip to the dentist may help determine risk for a stroke. Common panoramic x-rays, taken in every Dentist's office, allows a Dentist to see the whole structure of the mouth in one image. Because of their nearness to the mouth, carotid arteries (the big arteries located on each side of the neck) usually appear in these x-rays. Panoramic dental x-rays may provide a new tool to screen for potentially life-threatening heart conditions and stroke risk by being used to spot carotid artery calcification (CAC) - a prime risk factor for stroke.

Dr. Espinoza says, "Finding carotid artery calcification (CAC) on a dental x-ray can help us to identify and begin early intervention in these high risk patients. CAC is a very dangerous condition and if one of my patients has something like that, I want to assist them in going to their doctor and having a work-up as soon as possible because it's a serious indicator for an increased risk of stroke."

Dr. Espinoza does not suggest that dentists conduct panoramic x-rays to search for carotid calcifications, but says, "If they're going to take , panoramic radiographs then they should look at the entire x-ray and not just the teeth. A routine trip to the Dentist could prove to be a lifesaver for some people."

If a CAC blockage were to be detected on a panoramic x-ray by a Dentist, that patient would likely be referred to their Family Physician for a Carotid Duplex Ultrasound and, if confirmed, the blockage could be treated by a variety of methods including: lifestyle modification, medication, surgery or other interventional procedures such as a catheter.

Rather than patients asking their Dentists for neck X-rays, Dr. Espinoza states that the technique should only be used when a patient already needs an X-ray for an actual dental purpose because X-rays subject patients to radiation, "We don't want Dentists to take these panoramic radiographs just to look for CAC in the carotid arteries," adds the Doctor, "but in my professional opinion the Dentist needs to review the entirety of the x-ray and not just the teeth."

About Central Dental Care:
Central Dental Care, located at: 9315 N Central Ave, Phoenix AZ 85020, has been serving Arizona for 20 years. Their mission is to enable people to have healthy teeth and gums for life. They practice pain free dentistry while giving their patients a beautiful smile to match their personality. Patients can expect personalized, friendly, attention, while enjoying a comfortable experience, from Dr. Mark Espinoza and his team. Call: 602-943-7297 or visit their website to learn more and schedule an appointment:

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Tags:Dr. Mark Espinoza, Central Dental Care, Detecting Stroke Risk, Phoenix Dentist, Phoenix Dental
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Location:Phoenix - Arizona - United States
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