A research paper released in March of 2013 in Circulation studied the bacterial components of blood clots of patients with heart attacks. Researchers found that bacteria associated with gum disease, caries, and abscesses were found in the blood clots of heart attack patients:
“Bacterial DNA typical for endodontic infection, mainly oral viridans streptococci, was measured in 78.2% of thrombi, and periodontal pathogens were measured in 34.7%.”
The study concluded that up to half of the heart attacks were triggered by oral bacteremia. It has been established that periodontal disease is a complex microbial and genetic disease. Each individual has a gene that determines whether he or she is more prone to respond to the inflammation from a microbial aspect. That is a given and that is not alterable. The most alterable factor is the microbial components of oral biofilm.
This study represents a transitional moment in the field of oral-systemic health. It is likely that this new information will be a future rallying point from which more specific research on the connection between oral pathogens and cardiovascular disease commences.