How Gum Bacteria Causes Heart Disease

We have known for many years that there is a link between gum infection and heart disease but this is the first time I have seen an explanation why.

It seems that the bacteria in the gums can trigger inflammation, which in turn triggers more production of cholesterol in the arteries to help repair the damage. This then promotes the arterial hardening we know leads to increased risk of heart disease. Oops.

Here’s a summary of a new study from WDDTY:

Bad gums are a major cause of heart disease, researchers prove

Add bad teeth and gums to the list of causes of heart disease.  The bacteria from gum disease can cause inflammation in the heart and aorta, the largest artery in the body, which triggers cholesterol levels to rise.

Researchers from the University of Florida claim to be among the first to establish that gum disease is a cause of heart disease.  An association between the two has been recognised for years, but nobody was sure if poor gums were merely an indicator of deeper problems in the heart and arteries.

But studying reactions in laboratory mice, the researchers found that oral bacteria released into the bloodstream caused inflammation in the arteries and heart, which in turn triggered the release of cholesterol as a repair agent, and this caused atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

They hope that heart associations will acknowledge the importance of gum disease as another major factor in causing heart disease.

(Source: Proceedings from the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, 19 May 2014)

Moral of the story is to get your gums sorted. If you can. As some of you know I struggle with a mouth infection that will not resolve and I’m pretty sure is down to my gluten illness causing an autoimmune reaction. Nothing I take seems to blast it away, so this heart disease link bothers me somewhat, as you can imagine.

I have in fact just started a new factsheet page on Gum/Periodontal Disease on the clinic site. I have done some research and list there the top natural substances in research thought to be most effective, plus a fantastically helpful lecture given to the International Academy or Oral Medicine by one of my faves: Dr Michael Murray. Have a look if you need help in this health area.

 

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