Ignoring oral health can put your heart at risk.
Bacteria growing in the oral cavity can enter the bloodstream and cause infection in the heart valves or heart tissues.
Inflammation in the innermost lining of the heart muscle as well as heart valves is known as endocarditis or infective endocarditis (IE).
What’s the link
Our oral cavity harbours millions of bacteria. In people who are particular about oral hygiene, the number of bacteria reduces but doesn’t go down to zero.
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In people who are lax about oral hygiene, there is a greater chance that one of these microorganisms could find its way into their heart via the bloodstream.
Once bacteria finds its way into the blood vessels — a condition known as bacteremia (presence of bacteria in the blood) — it looks for the cosiest place where it is guaranteed nutrition, to reproduce. This search leads it to the heart.