September 11, 2008

Heart Disease Warning on Poor Dental Hygiene

Bad dental hygiene leads to bleeding gums which let in around 700 types of bacteria, it has emerged.These go straight to the bloodstream and are now known to be "independent factors" in causing heart disease no matter how fit and healthy the person is.Professor Howard Jenkinson from the University of Bristol, working with the Royal College of Surgeons made the discovery after examining how harmful bacteria interact with blood cells.He will explain the findings in detail today to members of the Society for General Microbiology in Trinity College, Dublin.Professor 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."Prof Jenkinson's team are working with Dr Steve Kerrigan of Ireland's Royal College to develop new therapies.Dr Kerrigan said of the research they have done: "We mimicked the pressure inside the blood vessels and in the heart."

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