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Dental Cleaning Linked to Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

06/25/2009 - News

Dental Cleaning Linked to Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

By: June Chen, MD

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Flossing may be good for both your gums and your heart. According to a study published online in The FASEB Journal, infected gums may be one source of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein associated with inflammation that is elevated in those who are at risk for heart disease.

 Italian and U.K. scientists examined the carotid arteries (located in the neck) of 35 otherwise healthy people with an average age of 46 who had known mild to moderate gum disease. By comparing the arteries before and after the periodontal disease was treated, the scientists found that, one year after dental treatment, these people had less oral bacteria, less inflammation, and less thickening of the blood vessels associated with heart disease.

The findings of this study suggest that proper dental hygiene can independently reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, demonstrating that relatively simple health measures can greatly reduce the risk of developing serious disease. However, since the study involved such a small number of individuals, larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Source

The FASEB Journal News. Accessed December 28, 2008.

Created on: 01/01/2009
Reviewed on: 06/25/2009

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