Monday, March 20, 2006

Periodontitis and heart disease - more bad news

Patients with periodontitis, especially infections causing a high concentration of pathogens in the blood, have an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), according to findings published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

DNA testing in 789 subjects, including 263 patients with stable CHD and 526 without CHD, was used to analyze subgingival biofilm samples for pathogens that cause periodontal disease: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Tannerella forsythensis, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Treponema denticola.

The results of analyses that considered other potential risk factors found a significant association between high levels of periodontal pathogen and the presence of CHD. A significant association was also found between the number of A. actinomycetemcomitans in periodontal pockets and CHD.

A potentially prominent role for A. actinomycetemcomitans is supported by the recent finding that high levels of A. actinomycetemcomitans antibodies also predict an increased risk of stroke.

Brush, floss, make regular visits to the dentist, and......drink red wine? Researchers say red wine may help keep gums healthy and strong.

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