Individuals have been urged to practice good dental care not only for their teeth, but also for their heart.
A paper published in Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association, claims that good dental hygiene and health can be vital in preventing infection of heart valves.
Researchers found that bacteria can enter the bloodstream early during dental extraction or brushing.
Peter Lockhart, chair of the Department of Oral Medicine at the Carolinas Medical Center, said: "If you stop oral hygiene measures, the amount of disease in your mouth goes up considerably and progressively and you'll have far worse oral disease."
He noted that gum disease and tooth decay can lead to infections which put patients at risk for bactereia and endocarditis if they have a heart problem or related conditions, adding that oral hygiene reduces gingival disease and associated risk.
In related news, researchers at the American Academy of Periodontology recently found that people with gum disease are more than twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease
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