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Hidden tooth infections increase the risk of heart disease by almost three times

November 14, 2016

Hidden tooth infections increase the risk of heart disease Undetected dental infections can lead to an almost threefold increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new study.

An experiment published in the journal Dental Research found that people with undetected dental infections are 2.7 times more likely to develop CVD, such as coronary heart disease, than patients who have undergone treatment for dental infections.

Given that CVD causes 30% of deaths worldwide, leading health charities encourage regular visits to the dentist, especially if we experience gum pain, tenderness, or bleeding.

Addressing the issue, Dr. Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “This study is troubling because dental infections are primarily caused by cavities that result from poor oral hygiene and a high-sugar diet.

The main signs of a root canal infection include pain when the tooth is touched and often swelling. The tooth may also become discolored. But sometimes the infection does not immediately cause these symptoms and may go unnoticed for some time.

Fortunately, maintaining good oral hygiene and reducing the risk of infection is easy. To do this, brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks, and make regular dental appointments, as this will help us prevent diseases not only in the mouth, but throughout the body.

Also, taking care of your mouth to prevent gum disease can be improved with a healthy diet, weight control, exercise, and not smoking.

Infection occurs when the decay reaches the center of the tooth. In this case, the bacteria spread beyond the root of the tooth and can enter the bloodstream. To avoid this, root canals must be treated and all infected tissue removed to prevent the spread of bacteria.

These new findings add to what is already known about the association of gum disease with CVD. It has previously been found that people with gum disease are at double the risk of developing heart disease. In recent years, oral problems have also been linked to several other diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. This makes oral care even more essential.”

The Oral Health Foundation welcomes research on this subject, as it can prevent many cases of CVD and save lives.

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