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Oral bacteria may cause blood clots that lead to endocarditis
Updated: 3/29/2012 7:00:19 PM

Oral bacteria may cause blood clots that lead to endocarditis  

Ignoring dental health may result in more than just a few cavities. For example, if left unchecked, the bacteria in the mouth can spread and enter the bloodstream, causing a host of medical problems. The Mayo Clinic states that this bacteria may cause cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and diabetes complications and other conditions.

Recently, research presented at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference showed that this bacteria can cause blood clots and trigger life-threatening endocarditis.

Endocarditis is characterized by blood platelet clumping that leads to growths forming on the heart valves. The scientists said that the association between oral bacteria and this condition could lead to the development of more effective treatments.

The researchers said that their findings highlight the importance of having a stringent oral care routine and visiting the dentist often.

"What our work clearly shows is how important it is to keep your mouth healthy through regular brushing and flossing, to keep these bacteria in check," said researcher Helen Petersen, M.D.

Since the toothbrush the best tool against this bacteria, it's important to get a new one every three months. 

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