ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
CANCER
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Are Hospital Mobile Phones Dialing Up Superbugs?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Household Insecticides May Be Linked to Autoimmune Diseases
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
FITNESS
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
When Clocks Change, Body May Need Time to Adjust
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
Want Sun Protection? Wear Red or Blue
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
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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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