Reducing Mouth Bacteria Lowers Heart Attacks & Pregnancy Risks
I was taught at a young age that flossing and brushing your teeth are essential. It seems evident that good dental care can help reduce heart attacks or lower pregnancy risks. Many years ago I saw a show where someone stated that mouth bacteria leaches into the blood stream to the heart; proper dental care could help turn back the clock by adding years to your life. There may be something to his theory. The below are two articles indicating the importance of good dental hygiene and how certain mouth bacteria can be harmful.
Failing to brush teeth properly linked with increase risk of heart attack
Failing to brush your teeth properly can increase the risk of a heart attack by half, according to new research.
by Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor
Last Updated: 2:35PM BST 01 Apr 2009
Previous research has suggested that inflammation caused by gum disease can affect blood vessels and cause furring of the ateries in a similar way to cholesterol.
The study conducted by the University of Buffalo and presented at the International Association of Dental Research in Miami involved 386 people who had suffered a non-fatal heart attack were examined in comparison to 840 healthy people.
Bacteria in the mouth was significantly associated with heart attacks even when other factors known to contribute to poor heart health such as have high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, body weight and smoking, were adjusted for.
The subjects found to have Tannerella forsythensis were 53 per cent more likely to be in the group who had suffered a heart attack and those with Prevotella intermedia were 35 per cent more likely to be in that group than in the control group.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: “This study adds to the mounting evidence supporting the knowledge that oral health has a major effect on the rest of the body.
“Our National Smile Month campaign, beginning May 17th carries the slogan ‘look after yourself, brush for health’ – which seeks to increase awareness of the simple steps which can be taken to limit the potential risks of gum disease. There can be around 700 different bacteria in our mouths and gum disease has been linked to diabetes, strokes and pregnancy problems as well as heart disease, so it is vital to look after oral hygiene.
“A good oral health routine should include twice daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste, cutting down how often you have sugary foods and drinks and visiting the dentist regularly, as often as the dentist recommends. Cleaning between the teeth is also important and should be done once-a-day using floss or interdental brushes.”
Study author Dr Oelisoa Andriankaja said further research to test the oral bacteria in people without heart disease and again after a heart attack should be conducted.
Brushing teeth ‘can prevent pregnancy complications’
Expectant mothers who brush their teeth thoroughly can reduce the risk of suffering dangerous complications in pregnancy and prevent infection in their newborn baby, according to scientists.
By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspodent
Last Updated: 6:34AM BST 31 Mar 2009
Researchers found that bacteria from a woman’s mouth could be transferred to her child through blood and amniotic fluid.
The bacteria can cause potentially serious problems, including premature birth, a low birth weight, and premature contractions. as well as infection in the baby, they warn.
Doctors cannot explain the cause of many pregnancy complications and the authors of the study insist that simple attention to dental hygiene can help to reduce the risk.
The research looked at contents of the stomachs of 57 newborn babies, which contained swallowed amniotic fluid.
The researchers found that the samples contained 46 different types of bacteria, two of which are found mainly in the mouth.
Ms Cecilia Gonzales-Marin, from Queen Mary University of London, who led the study, said: “Hospitals routinely take these samples as part of the care of the babies born from a complicated pregnancy or at risk of serious infection.
“Our research group is using DNA techniques to confirm if bacteria from the newborn matches the bacteria in the respective mother’s mouth".
The findings will be presented at the Society for General Microbiology meeting in Harrogate on Tuesday.
Source: Telegraph UK
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