In the News: Brushing and flossing your teeth could save you from a heart attack

There is mounting evidence of a link between gum disease and heart disease, but a study claims to be the first to show that the severity of each disease may also be connected.

Doctors found those with the worst blockages in their arteries had the most severe gum disease. French cardiologists and dentists looked at 131 patients referred to hospital for an X-ray examination of the arteries. All were examined for gum disease and had their blood checked for inflammation. Patients with artery disease had more severe periodontitis than those without, said study leader Dr Nicolas Amabile. It is not clear how gum disease may trigger heart problems, although it is thought that bacteria released from the infected gums are the key. The bacteria enter the bloodstream where they may activate the immune system, making artery walls inflamed and narrower, or attach directly to fatty deposits already present in the arteries which causes further narrowing.

Comments are closed.