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Researchers have found two specific types of bacteria in the mouth that may be directly involved with causing heart attacks.
The study was conducted at the University at Buffalo, where the connection between gum disease and heart disease was first discovered, and found that Tannerella Forsynthesis and Preventella Intermedia had a "statistically significant association with an increased risk of heart attack."
"The message here is that even though some specific periodontal pathogens have been found to be associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, the total bacterial pathogenic burden is more important than the type of bacteria," said Dr. Oelisoa M. Andriankaja, who led the study. "In other words, the total number of 'bugs' is more important than one single organism."
A total of 386 men and women between the ages of 35 and 69 who had suffered a heart attack participated in the study, along with a control group of 840 people. Though the heart disease group had more bacteria in their mouth than the control group, they also had significantly more of two specific types of bacteria.
This discovery may lead to more urgings by dental care officials for people to schedule regular visits with a dentist.
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