Good oral health may aid heart attack recovery

13 June, 2018 / infocus
 Scottish Dental  

New research has indicated that looking after their oral health could help the recovery of heart attack survivors’ cardiovascular system. The study1 found that bacteria that causes gum disease can impair the healing and repair of arteries after a heart attack.

Researchers believe this impaired healing may be due to an enzyme produced by the bacteria that stops the body’s immune cells from repairing the arteries. By keeping their mouths healthy and free of gum disease, people who have suffered a heart attack may be able to avoid further cardiovascular problems. The Oral Health Foundation is keen that people understand the potential links between oral health and cardiovascular disease. Chief Executive Dr Nigel Carter said: “This is incredibly interesting research which could offer hope to the future of millions of people affected by cardiovascular disease.

There has been evidence for some time that gum disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease but to now understand that preventing gum disease can also prevent further problems for victims of a heart attack opens up many interesting avenues for ongoing treatment.”

  1. Delbosc S, Alsac JM, Journe C, et al. Porphyromonas gingivalis Participates in Pathogenesis of Human Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm by Neutrophil Activation. Proof of Concept in Rats. PLoS ONE. 2011;6(4):e18679. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018679

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