ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Acupuncture May Help Restore Lost Sense of Smell
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
CANCER
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
DIET, NUTRITION
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Old-Growth Forests Dying Off in U.S. West
EYE CARE, VISION
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
FITNESS
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Have Fun But Put Play It Safe on the 4th
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
Sleep and Do Better
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Dark Chocolate May Lower Stroke Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
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Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Taking good care of teeth and gums may be crucial in preventing heart valve infection, a U.S. study finds.

Researchers examined whether daily dental activities such as brushing were as likely as major dental procedures such as tooth extraction to cause infective endocarditis (IE), a dangerous infection of the lining of the heart or heart valve that can occur when bacteria enter the bloodstream.

In the study of 290 dental patients, researchers analyzed the amount of bacteria released into the bloodstream (bacteremia) during tooth brushing and tooth extraction, with and without antibiotics. Blood samples were taken from the patients before, during and after these activities, and analyzed for bacterial species associated with IE.

The researchers found the incidence of IE-related bacteremia from tooth brushing (23 percent) was closer to that of extraction than expected -- 33 percent for extraction with antibiotics and 60 percent for extraction without antibiotics.

"This suggests that bacteria get into the bloodstream hundreds of times a year, not only from tooth brushing, but also from other routine activities like chewing food," study author Peter Lockhart, chairman of the department of oral medicine at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., said in a prepared statement.

"While the likelihood of bacteremia is lower with brushing, these routine daily activities likely pose a greater risk for IE simply due to frequency: that is, bacteremia from brushing twice a day for 365 days a year versus once or twice a year for dental office visits involving teeth cleaning, or fillings or other procedures," Lockhart said.

"For people who are not at risk for infections such as IE, the short-term bacteremia is nothing to worry about," he noted.

"If you stop oral hygiene measures, the amount of disease in your mouth goes up considerably and progressively, and you'll have far worse oral disease. It's the gingival [gum] disease and dental caries [decay] that lead to chronic and acute infections such as abscesses. It's that sort of thing that puts you at risk for frequent bacteremia, and presumably endocarditis if you have a heart or other medical condition that puts you at risk."

The study was published in the June 9 issue of Circulation.

More information

The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia has more about infectious endocarditis.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, June 9, 2008

Last Updated: June 09, 2008

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