How Dental Plaque May Trigger Blood Clots
Good brushing and flossing habits combined with regular visits to Dr. Frame, our Santa Clara dentist, are essential to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and they may even help reduce your heart disease risk. Dental plaque is not the same thing as the plaque that can build up in your arteries, but according to researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the University of Bristol, there may be a link between the two.
According to the study, which was presented at the Spring Conference of the Society for General Microbiology, oral bacteria that are able to breach the barrier between the mouth and the bloodstream masquerade as blood clotting factors. They then activate platelets, which causes clumping inside the blood vessels. These clumps not only protect the bacteria that are inside them but can also inflame blood vessels and trigger infectious endocarditis and the development of growths in the heart valves.
Researchers are using this new information to create new treatment options for patients with heart disease. However, as with any disease or health issue, prevention is critical. Keeping your gums strong and healthy can help reduce the likelihood of bacteria passing into the bloodstream. Brush after meals and floss daily for the best results. You may also benefit from an antimicrobial mouthwash, which can further reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Finally, eat a balanced diet, limit alcohol and quit tobacco to keep your gums intact and disease-free. Contact Dr. Frame, our expert in teeth cleaning in Santa Clara, today to learn more or to schedule your appointment.
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