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Ignoring oral health can cause the bacteria in the mouth to grow out of control and infect the bloodstream. If this happens, it can lead to a variety of health problems, some of which people may not expect.
Recently, scientists from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine linked the bacteria associated with gum disease to failed hip and knee replacements. The researchers state this is one of many studies they are planning on the link between oral bacteria and serious health problems.
There is fluid in the joints that lubricates them so they can move freely. Researchers tested the DNA of this fluid in patients that needed joint replacement surgery. They found that the DNA was identical to that of the plaque that causes gum disease, suggesting that the bacteria from the mouth had entered the bloodstream and reached the joints.
"We have a link now and want to see just how much of a trend this is. We also will be able to see if treating the periodontal disease, can reduce the number of future costly joint replacements," said researcher Nabil Bissada, M.D.
This study highlights the importance of keeping oral bacteria in check before it enters the bloodstream and causes health problems. This can be done by practicing proper dental health habits such as brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist twice a year.
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