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  Friday, March 5, 2021
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A new study suggests that brushing your teeth might reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack
Researchers say people who suffer gum disease are more likely to have narrowing of their arteries and blood vessels. Scientists at Columbia University in New York report that older adults who have higher than normal amounts of gum disease bacteria also tend to have thicker carotid arteries. These are the four main arteries in the neck and head, and their narrowing, called atherosclerosis, is a strong predictor of stroke and heart attack. The researchers reveal their findings in the American Heart Association journal Circulation after measuring mouth bacteria levels and carotid artery thickness in nearly 700 white, black and Hispanic New Yorkers aged 55 or older, says Voice of America. According to the BBC News, the researchers also measured the thickness of the subjects' carotid artery, which carries blood from the heart to the brain, and which is measured to identify atherosclerosis. It was found that those people who had a higher level of the specific bacteria that causes gum (periodontal) disease also had an increased carotid artery thickness, even after taking other cardiovascular risk factors into account. The team also found that the link with atherosclerosis only existed for the bacteria which was known to cause gum disease, and not other bacteria found in the mouth. Researcher Dr Moise Desvarieux said: "This is the most direct evidence yet that gum disease may lead to stroke or cardiovascular disease. "And because gum infections are preventable and treatable, taking care of your oral health could very well have a significant impact on your cardiovascular health", informs the Scotsman
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