Monday, May 3, 2010

Oral Bacteria May Increase Risk of Heart Attack

Heart Disease and Gum Disease: What is the Link?

I've noticed that most people don't give their gums much thought, until they have a problem. During that time, the deteriorating gums might be causing other problems. Note the research below:

Recent research suggests that taking care of your gums can be good for your heart.

Oral biologists from the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, among the first researchers to report a relationship between gum disease and risk of heart attack, now have identified the specific types of bacteria that are most damaging to the cardiovascular system.

What did they find?

Oral bacteria enter the bloodstream via small ulcers that develop in the gum tissue of persons with periodontal disease. They are thought to increase the risk of heart attack by: 1) contributing to plaque formation, which narrows blood vessels and increases the chance of clots forming. 2)accumulating around damaged tissue, such as a lesion in the blood vessel or a replaced heart valve, which also can narrow blood vessels and cause clots, and 3) inducing platelets to aggregate, which increases the chances of clots forming.”

“We’ve known for some time that oral bacteria can precipitate these kinds of reactions,” Robert J. Genco, D.D.S. Ph.D, chief investigator of this and earlier studies on the connections between oral bacteria and heart disease, said. “We now know that these reactions help explain how bacteria can cause gum disease and can also increase the risk of heart disease.”

Results showed that the heart-attack patients were heavily infected with all bacteria types, but that the risk of heart attack was related significantly only to three types: B. forsythus, P.gingivalis and C.Recta.m organisms thought ot cause periodontal diseas in adults. (not all oral bacteria cause periodontal disease.)

Depending on the bacterial concentration, the increase risk of heart attack in person with one or another of these bacteria ranged from 200-300 percent, compared to people with no evidence of the bacteria. Genco said.

Deanna Waters 237-8250

I’ve been a believer in Usana’s natural toothpaste with our patented Poly C and green tea extracts, plus other nutrients that are important for the gums, since it was introduced a few years ago. My periodonist of six years, noticed that it may have been what made a decided difference to the health of my gums. In fact after five months on Usana's toothpaste, including good dental hygiene, like flossing and brushing well (I didn't have to visit him anymore! Usana's toothpaste is my daily routine for life, as I'm committed to keeping healthy gums.....and a healthy heart.)

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