Bacteria in your mouth can escape into the bloodstream and cause blood clots. Scientists from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland recently uncovered the mechanism by which specific bacteria can produce the human protein fibrinogen (a blood clotting factor) on its surface. If these bacteria enter the blood stream through bleeding gums, they can cause problems with blood clotting by mimicking these human proteins.
The researchers are studying similar oral bacteria with the goal of determining how widespread this unique characteristic might be. The work clearly shows the importance of keeping your mouth clean and healthy through frequent brushing and flossing in order to keep these bacteria at minimal levels.
More and more research links overall health with oral health. Without healthy teeth and gums, it is increasingly hard to maintain overall body health. For more information, see your dentist, periodontal specialist or general physician to see if you’re a candidate for more-frequent dental cleanings to help effectively manage systemic disease, like diabetes or heart disease.