Help stave off heart attacks... keep your teeth clean

Keeping your teeth clean could save you from a heart attack, scientists say.

Researchers have found that poor dental hygiene and bleeding gums could allow up to 700 different types of bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This increases your risk of a heart attack regardless of how fit and healthy you are, they believe.

Gum disease is already known to cause bad breath, bleeding gums and, if untreated, cavities, receding gums and tooth loss. But experts say the biggest danger to health is the route into the bloodstream for the hundreds of bacteria found in the mouth.

Researcher Professor Howard Jenkinson said: 'Cardiovascular disease is currently the biggest killer in the western world. Oral bacteria such as Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus sanguinis are common infecting agents and we now recognise that bacterial infections are an independent risk factor for heart diseases. In other words it doesn't matter how fit, slim or healthy you are, you're adding to your chances of getting heart disease by having bad teeth.'

Details from research into how harmful bacteria interact with blood cells will be released today at the Society for General Microbiology, in Trinity College, Dublin.

Source - Daily Mail

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