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Why Brushing Your Teeth Could Save Your Life

You'd think that the state of your gums would bear little relation to the rest of your body, but studies show that those of us who suffer from gum disease (periodontal disease) have a higher likelihood of heart attack and stroke. There has even been a recent suggestion of a link between gum disease and cancer. The only problem is that nobody has been able to establish for sure whether one disease causes the other.

This week, however, New Zealand scientists claimed a breakthrough. They say the body's defences overreact to the threat of gum disease and start to destroy other protective cells too. This, they claim, leads to atherosclerosis, a furring of the arteries - the primary cause of heart attack.

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