Numerous studies have already linked dental conditions such as gum disease with cardiovascular disease, but the exact relationship is still being explored.
Now, researchers say that they have found evidence that heat shock proteins - created by various bacteria in the body - may play a role in causing atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a condition commonly referred to as hardening of the arteries and is one of the main causes of heart attacks. It occurs when macrophage white blood cells accumulate in the arterial walls.
Greg Seymour from the University of Ontago Dunedin in New Zealand explained that certain molecules found during oral infection were treated in a similar way to other bacteria by the body, causing the immune system to attack its own proteins.
This reaction paved the way for atherosclerosis to develop in the patient.
"This suggests that the similarity between the proteins could be the link between oral infection and atherosclerosis," he commented.
Seymour added that the findings of the research signify a "step towards a more complete understanding of heart disease and improving treatment and preventive therapies."
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
The materials and articles published on DentalPlans.com are for informational purposes only. Although DentalPlans.com strives to be accurate and complete, the information is provided without liability for errors. DentalPlans.com does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information, text graphics, links, or other items contained on DentalPlans.com.
DentalPlans.com expressly disclaims liability for errors or omissions in these materials and DentalPlans.com makes no commitment to update the information on DentalPlans.com.
DentalPlans.com expressly disclaims all liability for the use or interpretation by others of information on DentalPlans.com. Decisions based on information contained on DentalPlans.com are the sole responsibility of the visitors, and visitors agree to hold DentalPlans.com and its Affiliates harmless against any claims for damages arising from decisions visitors make on such information.
Nothing on DentalPlans.com constitutes medical advice or other forms of advice. DentalPlans.com assumes no responsibility for material created or published by third parties linked to DentalPlans.com with or without DentalPlans.com’s knowledge.