More Mouth Germs Increase Heart Attack Risk

    Apr-10-2009

Did you know that your oral hygiene is directly related to your overall well being? Findings of a recent study undertaken by scientists at the University of Buffalo have established that the more amounts of germs one has in his or her mouth, the more susceptible he or she is to a heart attack. The findings are definitely unnerving and substantiate the findings of other similar researches that offer evidence of the fact that our overall health is expressly dependent on our oral healthiness. Comparing heart attack patients to healthy people who volunteered for the research, the scientists found that people with heart problems possessed more number of different types of bacteria in their mouths.

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In fact, several researches conducted earlier have hinted about an intimate association between bacteria that are responsible for gum disorder or periodontal ailments and heart disease. However, not many researches have named or categorized the bacteria responsible for these disorders. In this context, it may be mentioned that scientists from the University at Buffalo led by Dr. Oelisoa Andriankaja have been making an endeavor to find out if any specific bacteria species are responsible for the heart ailments.

During the course of their study on the subject, Dr. Oelisoa Andriankaja and her colleagues were successful in narrowing down their search and found that two pathogens or disease-bearing microbes found in the mouth were responsible for increased heart attack risks. At the same time, the team of scientists from the University at Buffalo discovered that irrespective of their variety, the total number of microorganisms were more imperative for the wellbeing of the heart.

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According to Dr. Oelisoa Andriankaja, who is now associated with the University of Puerto Rico's School of Dental Medicine, although it has been found that some specific microbes in the mouth are responsible for increased heart attack risks owing to coronary blockages, what is more important is the fact that irrespective of the type of pathogens, it is their number that is more dangerous for the heart patients. To be precise, she says that in this case the total number of microbes or pathogens is more significant than the variety of the bacteria or one specific microorganism.

It may be mentioned here that the research undertaken by Dr. Oelisoa Andriankaja and her team engaged 386 men and women in the age group of 35 and 69 years. It is important to note that all these persons had suffered heart attacks at some point in their life and their physical status was measure up to 840 people who did not report any heart ailment. The researchers collected samples of dental plaque that usually hosts the germs from 12 places in the gums of all those who participated in the study. Later, the scientists examined the samples to find the existence of six common varieties of oral pathogens and also the number of bacteria present in each sample. During the analysis of the samples, it was found that people who endured heart disorders hosted more bacteria of each kind compared to the volunteers who were free from heart ailments.

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Based on the data collected during the analysis of the samples, two species of bacteria found in the gums - Tannerella Forsynthesis and Preventella Intermedia - were more intimately associated with the increased perils of heart attack. It was also found that the risk of heart attack was similar to that of the number of various bacteria pertaining to periodontal membrane. All said and done, physicians are still uncertain as to how the germs in the mouth are associated with cardiac attacks. However, they are of the view that the germs in the mouth trigger off common exasperation that in turn leads to clotting of blood in the vessels and hence a cardiac arrest.

Mouth bacteria and health

Microbes are present in a variety of places across the globe. They also survive all over the human body and also possess the aptitude to assault plants as well as animals. Occasionally, they are responsible for various ailments in people. In fact, germs are so minute as well as tricky that they can move stealthily into your body and possibly you will not even notice them. Several such germs are found in our mouth.

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Bacteria are most populated among the various different types of germs that survive in our mouth. It is presumed that there are an overwhelming number of them, more than 100 million in each milliliter of saliva! In fact, our mouth is inhabited by over 600 dissimilar spices of bacteria.

Provided you do not have cuts or raw wounds inside the mouth, majority of the bacteria present there will hardly cause you any harm. While we swallow a number of these bacteria, which get killed by the enzymes in our stomach, there are others that are eliminated when the enzymes present in the saliva attack them. Nevertheless, the bacteria present in our mouth are responsible for several most widespread diseases suffered by humans. Precisely speaking, these include tooth decay, also known as caries, and gum problems.

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Some of the bacteria that are likely to be present in our mouth include Streptococcus mutans or S. mutans and species that are similar as well as related. These are responsible for tooth decay. These bacteria survive on the sugars as well as starches present in the foods we ingest and make acids that liquefy the tooth enamel. In addition, the bacteria species called Porphyromonas gingivalis are responsible for gum or periodontal diseases. Some other types of bacteria present inside the mouth and responsible for some of the common diseases include Streptococcus salivarius, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Lactobacillus sp.

It is important to mention here that there exists a potent relation between the bacteria found in our mouth and our general health condition as well as well being. In fact, a number of bacteria found in the mouth have also been found to be responsible for severe ailments.

In 2005, scientists from the Boston-based Forsyth Institute found the presence of elevated levels of bacteria in the mouth such as C. gingivalis, S. mitis and P. melaninogenica. These bacteria were found in the mouth of people suffering from oral cancer, further strengthening the belief that they are related to the condition. A few years later, in 2009, scientists from the University of Buffalo stated the existence of a relation between the bacteria present in the mouth and an augmented chance of having a heart attack. In other words, the relation is not because of the bacteria types present inside the mouth, but owing to their numbers.

In case the bacteria present inside the mouth are related to ailments in other parts of the body, they are helpful in providing the source for uncomplicated diagnostic examinations that may be employed in the form of initial predictors of the ailment. In fact, understanding regarding the friendly or beneficial bacteria is leading to the development of additional chewing gums as well as toothpastes enclosing such useful microbes. The main idea is that the presence of friendly bacteria will help in putting off the detrimental bacteria from attaching themselves to the teeth, thereby causing harm.

Often gingivitis, an early type of disease of the gums, may occur from plaque. One solution to avoid gum disease is to always keep your mouth healthy. According to the American Dental Association, brushing the teeth regularly, at least twice every day, and flossing them once daily will help to maintain the health of your mouth. Besides brushing your teeth and flossing them, you may use antibacterial mouthwash to diminish the bacteria responsible for plaque. Even using antiseptic mouthwashes helps to eliminate germs that are responsible for foul breath.

The level of bacteria in each individual's mouth is different. It is vital for everyone to brush their teeth using their individual toothbrushes. In fact, when the body fluid of one individual passes on to another, it enhances the chances of infections. This is also true for saliva. Nevertheless, it does not denote that gum disease is infectious. Instead, allowing another individual's bacteria into one's system may result in ailments, as no one is immune to these. Precisely speaking, one should never share lip balms, lipsticks, band instruments, drinking glasses, in addition to several different other things.

The American Dental Association suggests that you should rinse your toothbrush with ordinary tap water and allow it to dry in the air before reusing it. Never keep your toothbrush in any closed container, because doing so will help to develop an environment that is perfect for bacterial growth. In fact, clinically it is not proved that using any toothbrush sanitizer or immersing your toothbrush in any antibacterial mouthwash does not have any effect - positive or negative, on our health.

Furthermore, the American Dental Association also advices that you need to replace your toothbrush once in every three months or four months. In case the bristles become frayed, you should replace the toothbrush even before. These replacements are necessary to ensure that your toothbrush is always in an excellent working condition. In fact, this does not have any relation whatsoever with bacteria. It has been found that often microbes grow on your toothbrush after you have used it. Nevertheless, there is inadequate proof to support the concept that the growth of bacteria on toothbrushes results in particular negative effects on our overall health.

Green tea is very effective in maintaining the health of your mouth. It contains chemicals known as catechins that work to eliminate mouth bacteria that convert sugar into plague. In addition, green tea is also known to be related to lower chances of tooth loss and healthier gums. Similarly, the herb celery helps to augment saliva production, thereby fighting cavities. Sesame seeds contain elevated levels of calcium that helps in building as well as reinforcing the teeth as well as gums. Consumption of raw onions also helps to promote potent antibacterial compounds of sulfur, which eliminates a variety of bacteria in the mouth.

Last, but not the least important, drinking plenty of water is an excellent means to invigorate the gums and also to hydrate them. In addition, water is considered to be the greatest defence of our body against bacteria that are responsible for plaque as well as cavities. A number of bacteria found inside the mouth is detrimental for our teeth as well as the gums. Nevertheless, there are others that are vital for maintaining the health of the teeth and gums. Our mouth also has several useful microorganisms that discharge substances, which aid in killing bacteria. A number of bacteria also produce enzymes, which put off the formation of plaque. Currently, researchers are investigating the probability of developing novel toothpastes that would be based on such bacteria.

The truth is that your mouth will always be inhabited with different types of bacteria. While it is not possible to eliminate all of them, one should also never try to do so. It is true that a number of microorganisms are detrimental for our health, but there are several others that are beneficial. Therefore, ensuring that you have a healthy mouth is definitely the greatest protection against the harmful germs.

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