Carotid Arteries and Tori
Posted on 5/22/2023 by Greg Kammeyer
|Carotid Arteries and Tori
Two areas I find interesting when I review CAT scans are clogged carotid arteries and areas of extra bone growth, most often on the inside of the lower jaw called Tori.
Blocked carotid arteries or Carotid Stenosis, leads to strokes. The material that blocks arteries, causing arteriosclerosis of the carotid arteries as well as the coronary (heart) arteries are made up of cholesterol and bacteria that are uniquely found in the mouth. When I note these, I send the patient with a copy of the image to their MD. Their physician will typically send them to get an ultrasound which once the arteries are >50% blocked, will display they are blocked. I have had 2 patients come back to me and say I saved their life from discovering the blocked coronary arteries, as they had their arteries cleaned. A number of other patients will go on statins or other medications for arteriosclerosis.
Tori bone growth is less dramatic. The bone grows here and a number of other places on the jaws in response to the stress of clenching or grinding. For me it is a tip off that I need to have more implant support than I’d need otherwise. The difference in stress on teeth for people that grind or clench is dramatic. I’ve also noted a number of times that they grow so big that they block the tongue space, collect food and allow periodontal disease to progress more easily.
I write this blog because I note more and more dentists are buying CAT scan machines. Having had one for 13 years, and have used them for 24 years, I have found countless problems that would have gone unrecognized otherwise. I personally know a number of fine practitioners that only read the part of the CAT scan that applies to what they want to look at. I send this to you to help raise the level of care we provide our patients.