ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
Children's Bath Products Contain Contaminants
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Obesity Linked to Heart Failure Risk
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Americans Consuming More Sugary Beverages
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
Arsenic in Drinking Water Raises Diabetes Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Glaucoma Associated With Reading Impairments in Elderly
FITNESS
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Biomarkers May Help Measure Rate of Decline in Dementia
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Lower Vitamin D Levels in Blacks May Up Heart Risks
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
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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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