Neglecting oral hygiene contributes to heart failure
Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland have revealed that neglecting oral hygiene could lead to heart failure.
The research team joined forces with researchers from Bristol University; the results of the study show that poor oral hygiene can cause blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. The findings of the study were revealed by the research team at the Society for General Microbiology’s annual autumn meeting last week.
The study concluded that streptococcus bacteria associated with oral health problems including tooth decay and gum disease could enter the bloodstream, increasing the risk of blood clots and subsequent health complications, including heart failure. The bacteria contain a form of protein known as PadA, which causes the platelets in the blood to stick together, forming a clot, which could block the flow of blood around the body.
Dr Steve Kerrigan, from the RCSI School of Pharmacy, is now working on creating a blood-flow system which is based on the human circulatory system; the research team will hopefully then be able to find a way of blocking the action of the PadA protein.
Professor Howard Jenkinson, research leader, said that the study had reinforced an important message and would hopefully encourage people to take good care of their teeth and gums. Brushing, flossing and using mouthwash on a daily basis and visiting the dentist once every six to twelve months will help to promote good oral health and reduce the risk of harmful health conditions, including heart disease.Join this Discussion