If you want to protect yourself from a heart attack or stroke as you age, you should especially not forget to brush your teeth. U.S. researchers have demonstrated a link between inflamed gums and thickening of the carotid arteries. Thickening caused by a layer known as plaque on the inner walls of vessels has long been considered a warning sign of an impending heart attack or stroke.
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) bacteria are one of the four main culprits.
The researchers focused their study on 11 of the more than 600 known bacteria in the mouth. They were able to reveal four pathogens as the worst culprits: Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia and Treponema denticola.
The results of the study were presented by the American Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda (Maryland, USA) in early February. They commissioned and funded the study published in the journal Circulation.