ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
CAREGIVING
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
DIET, NUTRITION
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
HELP TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A LOW CAL BUDGET
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Hypertension May Hit Black Males Earlier
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
EYE CARE, VISION
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Stressed and Exhausted: An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue
Be Healthy, Spend Less
Retail Clinics Attracting Those Without Regular Doctors
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Worries About Weight Are Tied to Teen Suicide Tries
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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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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