We have known for a long time that proper dental care prevents heart attacks, but now scientists are discovering that it could also prevent blood clots and life-threatening endocarditis.
Also read: 5 Ways Why Oral Hygiene Keeps You Healthy
An oral bacteria called streptococcus gordonii lives in all of our mouths and it contributes to plaque that forms on the surface of teeth. Doctors say that if these bacteria enter the blood stream through bleeding gums they can start to wreak havoc by masquerading as human proteins. That’s right. These bacteria are so clever, they begin to mimic the human protein called fibrinogen — which is a blood-clotting factor. This activates the platelets, causing them to clump inside blood vessels.
Platelet clumping can lead to growths on the heart valves (endocarditis), or inflammation of blood vessels that can block the blood supply to the heart or brain.
Well, it is if you don’t have routine dental cleanings… because those cleanings are the only ways to remove dental plaque buildup. Toothbrushing won’t do it.
Furthermore, this information is good news because it means scientists now have a better understanding of the relationship between bacteria and platelets – which could ultimately lead to new treatments for endocarditis.
Also read: Add Years to Your Life by Flossing
Whether you brush and floss your teeth routinely, or never – everyone needs to learn how
to keep their oral bacteria in check. Contact us for an appointment, and we’ll show you how to do it in no time at all!