Friday, July 01, 2011

A 'taste' of stroke prevention

Taking care of  your mouth is more than pretty teeth. More and more, it's clear that oral health affects overall health:
Though the research is still in its early stages, there is mounting evidence of a link between gum disease (periodontitis) and overall health, including an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and maybe even pre-term birth.

"The links are still not enormously strong," says Dr. Paul Reggiardo, a pediatric dentist in Huntington Beach, Calif. "What they are right now are tantalizing."

For instance, a 2008 consensus report in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology concluded that periodontitis — in which the tissues surrounding the teeth are inflamed and infected, leading to progressive bone loss and ultimately loss of teeth — "may contribute to cardiovascular events and stroke in susceptible subjects."

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