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Bacteria in The Mouth Linked to Heart Health

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oral bacteria

According to Medical News Today, ?In the study, the researchers infected mice with four specific bacteria (Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, Tannerella forsythia, Fusobacterium nucleatum) that cause gum disease and tracked their spread. Once the bacteria were detected in the mouse gums, heart and aorta, researchers saw an increase in risk factors, including cholesterol and inflammation, associated with heart disease.?

"We report evidence that introduction of oral bacteria into the bloodstream in mice increased risk factors for atherosclerotic heart disease. Our hope is that the American Heart Association will acknowledge causal links between oral disease and increased heart disease. That will change how physicians diagnose and treat heart disease patients," Irina M. Velsko, a graduate student in the University of Florida's College of Medicine said.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year while Heart disease is also the leading cause of death for both men and women.

"Our intent is to increase physician awareness of links between oral bacterial infection and heart disease. Understanding the importance of treating gum disease in patients with heart disease will lead to future studies and recommendations for careful attention to oral health in order to protect patients against heart disease," says cardiologist Alexandra Lucas of the University of Florida, College of Medicine, and co-investigator for the research.

Additionally, Science Daily has found that saliva bacteria is linked to diagnosing pancreatic cancer. 

"Our studies suggest that ratios of particular types of bacteria found in saliva may be indicative of pancreatic cancer," says Pedro Torres of San Diego State University.

The article cites that 40,000 people die every year due to pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Patients that are diagnosed in the early stages of pancreatic cancer have a 5-year survival rate of 21.5%. However, symptoms do not appear until after the cancer has become untreatable in a lot of cases, Torres says.

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