Web Zap*Germs Archive

March 14, 2005

Study Shows Gum Disease-causing Bacteria Linked to Higher Risk of Stroke & Heart Attack

A recent study led by Prof. Moise Desvarieux of Columbia University has shown that, in a study of 657 people with no history of stroke or heart disease, those with higher levels of the specific bacteria that causes gum disease also had an increased carotid artery thickness (even after taking other cardiovascular risk factors into account).

The conclusion we can draw from this study, which goes much further than earlier research in establishing a direct connection between the bacteria and thickening of arteries, is that daily flossing and tartar removal, use of antibacterial rinses and toothpaste, and regular dental cleaning will reduce the bacteria that cause gum disease, and thereby reduce the likelihood of future heart attacks and stroke.

The Voice of America website has a good article on this study, complete with quotes from Prof. Desvarieux and a diagram of thickened heart arteries.


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