There may be more to brushing your teeth than just fighting cavities. New research suggests bacteria in the mouth that causes gum disease may also be blamed for an increased risk of heart trouble.
The study at Columbia University Medical Center looked at more than a 1,000 people comparing the thickness of the carotid artery to the presence of gum disease in the mouth. Researchers found that the higher the level of bacteria, the thicker the arteries were.
They don't know yet if one causes the other, but researchers say this does provide another good reason for dental health and regular visits to the dentist.