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New Evidence That Heart Attacks Can Begin In The Mouth

A growing body of data shows just how important oral hygiene is – not just healthy teeth, but also to avoid life-threatening medical events like heart attacks and strokes. Brushing is a must. But people should also have their teeth cleaned professionally,

Experts say two brushings a day are crucial (bark)
Experts say two brushings a day are crucial (bark)


A research team from Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan presented a study at the annual assembly of the American Heart Association that shows conclusively why good dental care isn't just about having a nice smile. It can also help people prevent strokes and heart attacks.

The team analyzed the health insurance data of 100,000 people in an average time frame of seven years. When the research began, none of those participating in the study had cardiovascular disease. One half of the test subjects went to have their teeth cleaned professionally at least once a year, while the other half brushed their teeth regularly but did not go for cleanings.

The result? Those who had their teeth cleaned professionally had 13% less chance of stroke, and 24% less chance of a heart attack. Concretely, this means that good dental care is as important to good health as exercise.

Also presented at the American Heart Association meeting was a Swedish study showing that lack of good dental care could lead to severe illness. The study, which included data from 8,000 subjects, found that people with fewer than 21 remaining teeth showed a 69% higher risk of heart attack than subjects with most of their teeth intact.

The bacteria in plaque that causes swelling of the gums can get into the bloodstream and move to other parts of the body causing "trigger" reactions. Experts say it's crucial that people carefully brush their teeth twice a day. In addition, they should have two professional cleanings per year -- and more if the patient already has swollen gums or individual risk factors such as being a smoker.

Read the full story in German by Jörg Zittlau

Photo – bark

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Migrant Lives

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

An orchid rehabilitation project is turning a small Mexican community into a tourist magnet — and attracting far-flung locals back to their hometown.

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

Marcos Aguilar Pérez takes care of orchids rescued from the rainforest in his backyard in Santa Rita Las Flores, Mapastepec, Chiapas, Mexico.

Adriana Alcázar González/GPJ Mexico
Adriana Alcázar González

MAPASTEPEC — Sweat cascades down Candelaria Salas Gómez’s forehead as she separates the bulbs of one of the orchids she and the other members of the Santa Rita Las Flores Community Ecotourism group have rescued from the rainforest. The group houses and protects over 1,000 orchids recovered from El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, after powerful storms.

“When the storms and heavy rains end, we climb to the vicinity of the mountains and collect the orchids that have fallen from the trees. We bring them to Santa Rita, care for them, and build their strength to reintegrate them into the reserve later,” says Salas Gómez, 32, as she attaches an orchid to a clay base to help it recover.

Like magnets, the orchids of Santa Rita have exerted a pull on those who have migrated from the area due to lack of opportunity. After years away from home, Salas Gómez was one of those who returned, attracted by the community venture to rescue these flowers and exhibit them as a tourist attraction, which provides residents with an adequate income.

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