Poor Dental Health Linked to Atherosclerosis

Previous research has shown that poor dental health and periodontitis have been linked to atherosclerosis, which is a condition where fatty material collects along artery walls. This causes the arteries to become narrower and can lead to cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, angina (chest pain), and stroke. Researchers in Sweden recently tested the hypotheses that bacteria from the mouth and/or the gut could end up in the atherosclerotic plaque and contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. The researchers found the number of bacteria in the plaque correlated with the number of white blood cells. This meant that this was a cause of inflammation. The researchers used sequencing methods to determine the composition of the bacteria in the mouth, gut and arterial plaque of 15 patients in both a control and a study group. They observed that bacteria were … Read more

Common Bacteria Linked to MS

Research suggests that a common oral bacteria may increase autoimmune disease. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease where the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord. It currently affects nearly around 1 in 700 people in the United States. Patients with MS have a variety of neurological symptoms, including difficulty in moving, difficulty in speech, and muscle weakness. Porphyromas gingivalis, a common oral bacterium in humans, produces a unique type of lipid, phosphorylated dihydroceramides (DHCs), which enhance inflammatory responses. These lipids are also likely produced by bacteria found in other parts of the body including the gastrointestinal tract. Researchers led byFrank C. Nichols and Robert B. Clark of the University of Connecticut Health Center administered phosphorylated DHCs in a mouse model of MS to determine if these lipids cause immune-mediated damage in autoimmune disease. The severity of disease was … Read more