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Press Release: Educating Women on Heart Health-Oral Health Link

February 25th, 2010 · No Comments


WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 24, 2010) – In recognition of American Heart Month, WomenHeart: The National Coalition For Women With Heart Disease and Colgate Total® toothpaste have partnered again to launch the Heartwarming Smiles campaign – an initiative to help educate women throughout the U.S. about the impact proper oral care can have on their heart health.

Heartwarming Smiles will focus on empowering women by providing the knowledge and tools needed to make positive lifestyle changes to help reduce their risk of heart disease. The campaign’s online resource,, is specifically designed to encourage women to engage their physician in discussing their overall health and the simple changes they can make to help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve their oral care.

“Although finding time in our busy schedules may seem overwhelming, it is extremely important for everyone to make their heart health a number one priority, not only for themselves but for their loved ones,” said Essence Harris, heart disease survivor and WomenHeart Champion. “I had no idea that simple actions, like talking to my physician and taking proper care of my oral health, may have an impact on my heart health.”

Recent research shows that poor oral health, specifically severe gum disease, is often associated with the development of cardiovascular disease. There is an increasing need for patients to have open lines of communication with their dentists and physicians.  A national survey1 revealed that 53% of people surveyed with primary care physicians reported that their doctors have never discussed oral health during appointments. Similarly, more than a third (35%) of people surveyed stated that despite visiting the dental office, their dentists have never discussed issues beyond dental health in their appointments. The survey also found the following:

While the majority of Americans understand that exercise (84%) or diet (82%) can impact their heart health, far fewer people (53%) believe that proper oral care could also have an effect on their heart health.

More women than men (59% vs. 48%, respectively) understand that when they take care of their teeth, they are taking care of their hearts; yet women are much less likely than men (17% vs. 21%, respectively) to put most of their energy into good oral care routines over other lifestyle modifications, like exercise and diet.

Less than two in five (35%) Americans ages 18-24 are sure of the link between their dental habits and a healthy heart, compared to 56 percent of those who are 25 and over.

“Since heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans, it is increasingly important that patients take the initiative to establish open lines of communication with their doctors and dentists,” said Elizabeth Klodas, M.D., F.A.C.C., President, Preventive Cardiology Consultants (Edina, Minnesota). “Patients need to inform their physicians and dentists of any major oral health issues or heart conditions they may have to ensure optimal care. Patients should ask about measures available that may help improve their overall health, like using Colgate Total, an antibacterial toothpaste that fights plaque and gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.”

A healthy mouth is important to the health of the entire body, especially heart health. To learn more about the Heartwarming Smiles campaign, please visit


About WomenHeart

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is the nation’s only patient advocacy organization serving the 42 million American women living with or at risk for heart disease – the number one killer of women. WomenHeart is solely devoted to advancing women’s heart health through advocacy, community education, and is the nation’s only patient support network for women living with heart disease. WomenHeart is both a coalition and a community of thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, physicians, and health advocates, all committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. For more information and to get your free heart health action kit, visit

About Colgate-Palmolive Company

Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer products company, tightly focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. Colgate-Palmolive sells its products in over 200 countries and territories around the world under such internationally recognized brand names as Colgate, Palmolive, Mennen, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sorriso, Kolynos, Elmex, Tom’s of Maine, Ajax, Axion, Soupline, and Suavitel, as well as Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet.  For more information about Colgate-Palmolive’s global business, visit the Company’s web site at

About Colgate Total® Toothpaste

The patented formula of Colgate Total® toothpaste is clinically proven to actively fight germs for 12 hours.  Colgate Total® toothpaste has an antibacterial formula and is the only toothpaste both approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and accepted by the American Dental Association, to fight gingivitis.  Using Colgate Total® toothpaste can promote better oral health and better oral health may help improve overall health. Colgate Total® is approved by the FDA to aid in the prevention of cavities, plaque and gingivitis and is the number one toothpaste recommended most by dentists and hygienists. It has not been approved for the prevention or treatment of serious gum disease or other diseases. For more information about Colgate Total® toothpaste, visit


[1] Survey conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Colgate-Palmolive, January 2010.

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