25 Sep How Root Canals Could Increase Your Risk For Heart Disease | Men’s Health
BY ALISA HRUSTIC
Put off the dentist and your smile isn’t the only thing that can suffer: Poor oral hygiene could hurt your heart health, suggests a new study from Finland.
After examining the teeth and the arteries of more than 500 people, the researchers discovered that those need of a root canal were nearly 3 times more likely to have acute coronary syndrome—a clogging of the heart’s arteries that can cause a heart attack—than patients with healthy teeth.
You need a root canal if you develop a root tip infection in the pulp, or the tissue in the center of your tooth. One of the most common causes of this is a deep decay, often due to a cavity that’s left untreated and worsens.
The bacteria from your tooth infection can spread to other areas of your body, says study author John Liljestrand, D.D.S.
That includes your heart: And if it’s already damaged—say, due to heart disease—that bacteria can spark a serious infection in your heart called endocarditis.