ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
CANCER
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Six Healthy-Sounding Foods That Really Aren't
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Golf Course Insecticides Pose Little Danger to Players
EYE CARE, VISION
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
Eye Test Could Spot Diabetes Vision Trouble Early
FITNESS
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Retail Clinics Attracting Those Without Regular Doctors
Simple Holistic Approach to Fight the Common Cold
Should the FDA Regulate Tobacco?
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Soy Protein Doesn't Lower Cholesterol
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
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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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