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Keep teeth clean for a healthy heart

Periodontitis, a gum disease which occurs when waste material collects around the teeth, is linked to heart diseases.

health and fitness Updated: Sep 07, 2007 14:20 IST

Keep your teeth clean if you want to protect your heart from diseases, suggests a new study that has found evidence of a link for the first time between gum disease and heart disease.

Periodontitis is a chronic gum disease, which occurs when waste material or plaque collects around the teeth and irritates the gums. One can remove the plaque by brushing and flossing the teeth regularly.

However, failure to regularly brush and floss can lead to the irritated gums becoming infected. Teeth become loose and can even fall out.

French cardiologists and dentists in Marseille looked at 131 patients referred to hospital for an X-ray examination of the arteries. All were examined for gum disease and had their blood checked for inflammation.

Scientists found those with the worst blockages in their arteries had the most severe gum disease, reported the online edition of Daily Mail.

The findings released Tuesday at the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting in Vienna showed that patients with artery disease had more severe periodontitis than those without. The most severe teeth disease was associated with the most widespread heart disease.