Brushing's Good for Your Heart

Mouth bacteria can travel to your ticker

(HealthDayNews) -- Brushing your teeth can do more than reduce bad breath and tooth decay. It could also help prevent blood clots, heart attacks and strokes, according to a University of Minnesota study.

The research showed that bacteria accumulating in the absence of regular brushing can slip into the bloodstream and help form clots. After injecting rabbits with bacteria commonly found in dental plaque, researchers found that the animals quickly developed heart abnormalities, as well as changes in breathing and blood pressure.

The study doesn't prove that poor dental hygiene can cause heart attacks by itself. But like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, being overweight or not getting enough exercise, it's a risk factor.

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