Brushing your teeth and gums regularly could reverse early signs of heart disease. In fact, researchers suggest that good dental care can achieve results comparable to those from drugs by reducing dangerous fatty deposits on blood vessel walls.
The key to all this is the role oral bacteria play in heart disease.
Scientists have long suspected that periodontitis, also known as gum or gingival disease, is linked to early signs of heart disease, specifically atherosclerosis - the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. But the new study has now identified a specific bacteria - porphyromonas gingivalis - as one of the main culprits in both gum and heart disease.
'It's thought that bacteria in the mouth trigger an immune response, increasing production of T. lymphycytes, which are part of the body's defence system,' says Dr Mario Clerici, the study leader and an immunologist at the University of Milan in Italy.
The problem is that proteins found on the surface of all blood vessels resemble those proteins on these gingivalis bacteria. And once the immune system is provoked into attacking the gingivalis bacteria, it moves on to the proteins in the blood vessels.
'The result is the start of the process that leads to the build-up of fatty substances,' explains Dr Clerici.
Source - Daily Mail