Scientists have revealed that there is a much deeper link between oral health and cardiac health than suspected before. In a recent study, it has been revealed that people who do not brush their teeth properly stand a higher risk of contracting heart diseases.
This is due to the fact that bacteria present in the mouth can reach the heart and cause a disease known as infective endocarditis, which could be life threatening.
The research has found that bacteria called streptococcus gordonii get into the blood stream by means of injuries in gums that cause bleeding and then, they infect the heart. The bacteria cause blood to clot and hide inside the clots.
This is a defense mechanism of the bacteria since the clot protects them from the immune system of the body. They are also protected against antibiotics. When the clots reach the heart valves, infections are caused. The infected valves can be fatal and positively life threatening.
In 2010, a study proved an increased risk of heart diseases in people who maintained very poor oral hygiene. The present study has been conducted by researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, and Bristol University.
Further research is aimed at developing medications that can prevent blood to clot, thus destroying the hideout of bacteria and killing them before they can cause injury to the heart.
According to Professor Damien Walmsley from the British Dental Association, the study is very significant due to its contribution in finding the link between heart and gum diseases. It has also thrown light on the importance of maintaining good dental hygiene.