Richard G. Petty, MD

Brushing Your Teeth is Good for Your Heart

This was the title of an article in Time magazine and something that I’ve been meaning to discuss for a while now.

We have known for some years now that there can be a link between periodontal bacteria and heart disease, but a new study from the Department of Health Sciences in Kristianstad University, in Sweden and published in the Journal of Periodontology.

The researchers found the presence of specific bacteria in periodontal pockets, which are those areas of tissue surrounding teeth, that might be an explanation for the relationship between periodontal disease and acute coronary syndrome (ACS). ACS is the term used to describe insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle that results in heart disease.

The investigators compared 161 subjects diagnosed with ACS with a control group of people who did not have cardiovascular disease. They found that the bacterial burden – the amount of oral bacteria –was twice as high in the ACS group for the combination for the bacteria streptococci, and three less common bacteria: P. gingivalis, T. forsythia and T. denticola. These findings suggest that this combination of bacteria is the link between periodontitis and ACS.

The periodontal bacteria cause an inflammatory response that elevates the white blood cell count and increases one of the key inflammatory markers: high sensitivity C-reactive protein levels in the blood, a factor which has been linked in past studies to heart disease.

Alveolar bone loss—atrophy of the bones that support your teeth—was also found to be significantly greater among subjects with ACS. The extent of bone loss was more severe in the ACS group than in the non-ACS group with 77%of the participants in the ACS group afflicted with periodontitis versus 42% in the control group.

The study highlights the importance of routine periodontal examinations and at-home dental care, particularly if you have a personal or family history of heart disease.

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

Comments

2 Responses to “Brushing Your Teeth is Good for Your Heart”
  1. John says:

    I brush twice a day 😀

  2. For which we are all grateful…..
    😉

    RP

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