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April 19, 2012 -- NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older adults who get thorough dental cleanings may be somewhat less likely to have a heart attack or stroke than their peers who are less careful about oral hygiene, a new study suggests.
The study, of nearly 22,000 Taiwanese adults age 50 and older, found that those who'd had a professional tooth "scaling" in the past year were less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke over the next seven years.
Tooth scaling, sometimes called a deep cleaning, involves removing the "plaques" that can build up on the teeth and deep in tooth pockets within the gumline. Those plaques harbor bacteria that can lead to gum disease.
The new findings, reported in the American Journal of Medicine, do not prove that a good dental cleaning will cut your risk of heart problems.
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By Reuters Health, via DrBicuspid.com