Harvard Heart Letter

Gum disease and heart disease: The common thread

How plaque on your teeth may be connected to plaque in your arteries. For decades, researchers have probed the link between gum disease and cardiovascular health. Gum disease begins when the sticky, bacteria-laden film dentists refer to as plaque builds up around teeth. A completely different type of plaque made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in blood can build up inside arteries. Known as atherosclerosis, this fatty…

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