Cardiovascular diseases may be linked to oral health: Dr Rao

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Mumbai, Mar 25 (UNI) Research has shown that several types of cardiovascular diseases may be linked to oral health, including clogged arteries, stroke and bacterial endocarditis, according to city-based orthodontist Dr Sagar Rao.

Speaking to UNI here Dr Rao said some researchers believe that bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel through the arteries to heart, affecting a person's cardiovascular system.

''Your mouth is normally teeming with bacteria. Usually you can keep these bacteria under control with good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing. Saliva is also a key defence against bacteria and viruses. It contains enzymes that destroy bacteria in different ways. But harmful bacteria can sometimes grow out of control and lead to periodontitis, a serious gum infection,'' Dr Rao said.

Some researches have also shown that disease-causing organisms in a pregnant woman's mouth can wind up in the placenta or amniotic fluid, possibly causing premature birth and hence it is vital to maintain excellent oral health during pregnancy, Dr Rao informed.

''Many serious diseases, including AIDS, may make their presence known in a person's mouth before their symptoms aggravate,'' Dr Rao stated.

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