The Heart of the Matter

Did you know that February is American Heart Month? Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in America. It affects 81 million Americans and is the culprit in one of every two deaths in the United States. Most people think they are not at risk for a heart attack if they contrLogo_croppedol their cholesterol and blood pressure.

However, inflammation is an additional risk factor that can lead to increased risk of heart disease. Gum disease is always accompanied by inflammation from its beginning stages (gingivitis) to the more advanced (periodontitis) stage. Diseases of the mouth are the silent culprits of chronic inflammation. Unknowingly, this condition can drive the formation of plaque in the arteries, causing inflammation of arterial plaque that leads to plaque rupture — the cause of heart attacks and most strokes.

In 2013 Drs. Brad Bale and Amy Doneen authored an informative book, “Beat the Heart Attack Gene,” whose research has helped bring the mouth-to-heart connection to the forefront of heart disease prevention. Drs. Bale and Doneen recommend that anyone who has suffered a heart attack have a complete dental checkup, including a saliva test — MyPeriPath. This diagnostic test shows the balance between good and bad bacteria, which in turn shows the degree of inflammation.

At Future of Dentistry our philosophy is simple: We treat your mouth with your body in mind — “Healthy Body Dentistry.” We believe your dental health affects not only your physical health, but also your wellbeing. Patients are often unaware of gum disease, as it is usually not accompanied by pain, and thus neglect their semiannual “cleanings,” assuming their mouth is healthy.

Let us help keep you “heart healthy” with regular checkups, brushing and flossing. Just what the doctor ordered!


Tooth Fairy Poll: How Much Do You Pay?

People have varying ideas for how much the Tooth Fairy should shell out for a tooth. In 2014, polls estimated the average household at about $4. What do kids receive in your household? Cast your vote in our poll.


Dr. Strock presents to Wakefield community coalition

On January 19, Dr. Heather Strock was the speaker at the Wakefield Unified Prevention Coalition meeting at the WCAT Studio in Wakefield.Wake-Up Coalition logo

The coalition (WAKE-UP) is comprised of social workers, healthcare workers, police, parents and community advocates. The organization is dedicated to reducing alcohol, tobacco and drug use among its residents, especially youths.

Dr. Strock expounded on the importance of oral cancer screeniDr Strockngs at a dental visit. Early detection and education about high-risk factors — such as smoking (cigarettes and hookah), smokeless tobacco, vaping with e-cigarettes, and alcohol use — are the best defenses for the most preventable cause of death in the United States.

Over time, the nicotine in these products causes “neuroadaptation” that leads to a much higher tolerance and severe physiological dependence — regardless of the route of nicotine administration. Users of smokeless tobacco appear to be more addicted than cigarette smokers due to the proximity of the buccal mucosa to the brain. Nicotine is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream at levels twice as high after smoking one cigarette. The best defenses against the most preventable cause of death in the United States is early detection and education.

A Formidable Opponent

With all that we as healthcare providers, parents and youth advocates attempt to do for our children, we are up against a formidable opponent. Tobacco and nicotine companies present deceptive and aggressive marketing campaigns. Social networking ads target tweens and teens to become “friends” of their pages, creating more visibility and exposure.

Urging teens to do some research on their own will not only validate your concerns and advice, but hopefully, persuade them to not experiment with any nicotine products. An excellent resource is the National Spit Tobacco Education Project (NSTEP).

This website is inviting and easy to navigate. It provides testimonials from professional athletes and tips on how to quit if you have started.

We all need to play an active role in providing our children with a healthy future by educating them now.

If you’re interested in having a member of Future of Dentistry’s clinical team speak at an event, contact Susan or Lisa at 781-245-2299 or email To learn more about WAKE-UP, visit

You don’t know spit

Most people don’t know how important saliva is to their oral health. It may sound strange, but saliva isn’t “just spit.” It’s essential to your body fighting tooth decay and other diseases.

Saliva is also one of the ways we identify and address oral health problems. Salivary diagnostics is the term for this service, which uses your DNA to assess your risk and monitor your clinical outcomes.

Salivary diagnostics are a non-invasive way to reveal whether you have spitting-water-1550479a genetic predisposition for certain diseases. We can determine if you are at risk for periodontal disease or for certain HPV-related oral cancers. We can also diagnose the cause of periodontal infections.

With the information from salivary diagnostics, our staff is able to create a personalized treatment plan for you with more reliable results. In conjunction with VELscope exams, salivary diagnostics are an excellent way to test for oral cancers and other diseases and conditions.

Salivary diagnostics is a burgeoning field. We expect to see even more testing options in the future. Who knew “spit” would turn out to be so helpful?!