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Dental Insurance Healthcare – Dental Care and your Heart

Monday, Nov. 2nd 2020 2:16 PM

How Cavity-Causing Microbes can Invade your Heart

Scientists have discovered that bacteria, normally found in our mouths, is a tool that can be use to invade heart tissue, causing a dangerous and sometimes lethal infection of the heart known as endocarditis. S. mutans is a bacterium best known for causing cavities.

The study done raises the possibility of creating a screening tool – perhaps a swab of the cheek, or a spit test to gauge a dental patient’s vulnerability to the condition.

Normally, S. mutans normally confine themselves to the mouth, but sometimes, after a dental procedure or even after a vigorous bout of flossing, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream. Our immune system usually destroys them, but occasionally – within just a few seconds – they travel to the heart and colonize its tissue, especially heart valves. The bacteria can cause endocarditis – inflammation of heart valves – which can be deadly. Infection by S. mutans is a leading cause of the condition.

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