March 21, 2012 in Healthy Tips
Periodontal disease is a major factor in compromised wellness and longevity. Bacteria that normally reside in the mouth secrete sticky stuff that enables these “gum bugs” to attach themselves to the teeth and gum tissue. This biofilm gradually hardens into plaque, called tartar, which is the stuff you hear and feel the dental hygienist scraping off your teeth.
The sticky stuff that collects along the gum line can trigger sticky stuff, inflammation, in your blood vessels. The pockets of bacteria that get trapped beneath the gums work their way into the bloodstream and settle in other tissues, setting up inflammation. A fascinating study of how those gum bugs can harm the heart prompted me to step up my flossing. Researchers studied plaque from patients who had undergone vascular surgery to scrape out their clogged arteries and found that it contained the same bacteria that were scraped out of their gum pockets.