Care for Your Heart and Mind Brush and Floss Your Teeth

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Brushing
and flossing your teeth daily does more than help prevent cavities,
periodontal (gum) disease and bad breath. According to the American
Academy of Periodontology, having healthy teeth and gums also lowers
your risk of heart disease and stroke. And now researchers at West
Virginia University have found a clean mouth may also do something
else – prevent memory loss.

"This
could have great implications for the health of our aging populations.
With rates of Alzheimer’s skyrocketing, imagine the benefits of
knowing that keeping the mouth free of infection could cut down
on cases of dementia," said Richard Crout, D.M.D., Ph.D., an
expert on gum disease and associate dean for research in the WVU
School of Dentistry, in a statement to the media. "Older people
might want to know there’s more reason to keep their mouths clean
– to brush and floss – than ever."

How could the
health of your mouth have an impact on your heart and your brain
health? No one knows for sure but one theory is that bacteria found
in the mouth can enter the blood stream through bleeding, inflamed
gums. Then these germs may end up attached to fatty plaques in the
coronary arteries and contribute to stroke and heart attack causing-blood
clots. The same process might damage the brain, too.

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the rest of the article

June
25, 2009

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