Failing to brush your teeth properly could lead to potentially fatal heart problems, scientists have found.
Bacteria that loiter in the mouth can cause life-threatening blood clots which could trigger the rare condition infective endocarditis.
Researchers will describe how the streptococcus gordonii bug can enter the bloodstream through bleeding gums at the Society for General Microbiology’s conference today.
Once in the blood, the bacteria can prompt the blood to clot. Hidden inside the clots, the bacteria are shielded from the immune system and antibiotics.
If the clots grow on heart valves, they can cause infective endocarditis – when the valve becomes infected causing serious and sometimes fatal damage.
Read more: Mail Online Published 25 March 2012