Married healthcare duo uses cardiology and dental expertise to detect heart attacks and strokes.

It might be good that heart month and dental health month are both in February. It's the same reason a husband-wife, cardiologist-dentist team is combining their practices in Worthington.

Dental problems can prompt heart attacks and strokes.

Eric Goulder, MD, and Barbara McClatchie, DDS, have joined forces to practice the Bale Doneen method of testing and treating oral health issues as a way to prevent coronary problems.

A few other dentists and cardiologists offer this care across the country but not under the same roof, Goulder and McClatchie say.

Key to the practice is a 30-second saliva test that can detect five high-risk oral pathogens that cause inflammation that can lead to heart attack or stroke by building up plaque in arteries, say Goulder and McClatchie.

The American Heart Association for years has said dental health and coronary disease are related, but the connection was not clear. As reported in November 2016 in a peer-reviewed article in the British Medical Journal, a Bale Doneen study links five bacteria found in the mouth with inflammation that can spread throughout the body and cause problems that include plaque buildup in arteries.

With 30 years' experience each in their respective fields and five years of studying the Bale Doneen approach to early identification and prevention of cardiovascular disease, Goulder and McClatchie say they are ideally suited to bring the innovative methodology into their combined practices.

Goulder, who practiced in Marietta the past 10 years, says he looks for early evidence of disease before symptoms are noticeable.

“It turns out a lot of what causes this is periodontal disease; that's where Barb comes in. … She can find that periodontal disease, treat it and you can actually see the inflammation go down,” he says.

McClatchie is moving her Complete Health Dentistry of Columbus in July to a new location with her spouse as he sets up his Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Central Ohio.Their new offices will be in space under renovation at 350 W. Wilson Bridge Rd.

“It's really personalized medicine,” McClatchie says. “A lot of people see dentists more often than physicians, so as a complete-health dentist, I am screening patients that might not even have a physician or haven't seen one for several years. … I am an advocate for the overall health of our patients.”