One More Reason to Brush

Think about this the next time you rush through brushing your teeth or decided to skip flossing: You’re more likely to have elevated C-reactive protein(CRP) levels—and a higher risk of heart disease—if you have gum disease.

Gum diseases are bacterial infections that destroy the gum and bone that hold your teeth in your mouth, When this happens your gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with plaque and even more bacteria. About 15 percent of adults between ages 21 and 50, and 30 percent over 50, have gum disease. And overall, studies find that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from CHD as those who don’t have it.’Researchers speculate that gum disease may allow oral bacteria to enter the blood stream, triggering the liver to make inflammatory proteins like CRP.The bacteria may also play a direct role in injuring the arteries.

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