Cardiovascular disease and periodontal
bacteria link, research shows
Older adults who have higher proportions of four
periodontal disease-causing bacteria in their mouths
also tend to have thicker carotid arteries-a strong
predictor of stroke and heart attack.

M. Desvarieux et al from the University of Minnesota in
Minneapolis and Columbia University in New York City
presented their findings at the 83rd General Session
of the International Association for Dental Research,
Baltimore Convention Center on March 11, 2005.
They collected an average of seven dental plaque
samples from 657 subjects. They assessed the
subjects' carotid intima-media thickness (indicating
their cardiovascular health and their C-reactive protein
levels. C-reactive protein usually is elevated in people
with periodontal disease.

The researchers found that the higher the levels of the
periodontal-disease-causing bacteria, the more likely
people were to have thicker carotid arteries.

Inflammation of the gums affects an estimated 200
million Americans to various degrees.

              
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