Poor dental hygiene and bleeding gums can put you at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack, according to a new research.
According to the study, which was presented at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn meeting, revealed that people with poor dental hygiene and those who don't brush their teeth regularly end up with bleeding gums, which provide an entry to the bloodstream for up to 700 different types of bacteria found in our mouths.
As a result, the risk of having a heart attack increases, according to microbiologists from the University of Bristol and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
"The mouth is probably the dirtiest place in the human body," said Dr Steve Kerrigan from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland.
"If you have an open blood vessel from bleeding gums, bacteria will gain entry to your bloodstream.
"When bacteria get into the bloodstream they encounter tiny fragments called platelets that clot blood when you get a cut. By sticking to the platelets bacteria cause them to clot inside the blood vessel, partially blocking it. This prevents the blood flow back to the heart and we run the risk of suffering a heart attack," he said.
The only treatment for this type of disease is aggressive antibiotic therapy, but with the increasing problem of multiple drug resistant bacteria, this option is becoming short lived.