Are there bacteria in my mouth that can cause heart problems?

There are bacteria in our mouths that are associated with heart problems, particularly if the person already has heart valve problems. Although there is an association, it is not clear if these bacteria are causing the heart problems.
The human mouth contains millions of helpful bacteria and harmful bacteria. The helpful bacteria may aid in digestion, while the harmful bacteria may affect your teeth and gums  For instance, plaque can form when bacteria eat the leftover sugar on your teeth after a meal, causing cavities and tooth decay. Gum disease can also make your gums bleed, and the organisms may enter your bloodstream through your bleeding gums or though a cut or sore in your mouth. This pathway has been linked to potential complication within your blood vessels such as atherosclerosis and clotting, and could lead to a heart attack or stroke, although more research is needed in understanding this.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.