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Failing to brush can contribute to heart disease

Research is confirming that poor oral hygiene can contribute to other health problems, especially heart disease. The presence of bacteria in a person's mouth is now confirmed to have a correlation with the instance of heart attacks. The University of Buffalo made the conclusion after conducting a study comparing heart attack victims with healthy subjects. Those found to have the bacteria Tannerella forsythensis had a 53 per cent greater instance of being among the heart attack victims. Subjects with Prevotella intermedia were 35 per cent more likely to be to also be in the heart disease group.

This study adds to previous research linking inflammation caused by gum disease to deterioration of blood vessels. According to the British Health Foundation, a person's mouth can contain some 700 different bacteria causing gum disease, which has also been linked to problems during pregnancy, stroke, and diabetes. "A good oral health routine should include twice daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste," concluded the foundation's director Dr. Nigel Carter.

Researchers who conducted the Buffalo study are now recommending additional research to test oral bacteria in healthy people, then to repeat the testing after those people become heart attack victims.

“The fact is that I started out as somewhat skeptical and cautious about fluoridation. But then I became a firm believer as proof was assembled by scientists that fluoridation of a water supply will reduce the production of tooth cavities (our most prevalent disease) by 60%, and, just as important, that no disease or defect is caused by this procedure. What particularly allayed my early doubts about adding a chemical to public water supplies was learning that fluoride has always occurred naturally in water supplies.” Dr. Benjamin Spock
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