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DENTISTRY and Disease Prevention.

If your mother couldn't convince you to brush after every meal and floss daily, maybe this news from Delta Dental will. According to researchers at the State University of New York Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, bacteria responsible for gum disease has been increasingly associated with other illnesses such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. Robert Genco, D.D.S., Ph.D., chief investigator of the study, identified three primary bacteria most closely associated with heart attacks. These same three, B. forsythus, P. gingivalis and C. recta, are also believed to cause gum disease. However, it is unclear whether gum disease puts patients at risk of developing the disease or vice versa.

"If and when [a] connection is found, the discovery can lead to earlier, better treatment and preventive management," says Roger Smith, D.D.S., chairperson of Delta Dental Plans Association's dental policy committee. "There is still much to learn, but the findings so far underscore the importance of regular, preventive dental care and emphasize the key role dental health plays in overall health."

For more information, call Delta Dental Plans Association at (630) 574-6855.

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Publication:American Fitness
Date:Mar 1, 2001
Words:187
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