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Article: Volume 44 Number 9 Page 877 - October 2017

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  Dent Update 2017; 44: 877-890

Oral Microbiology:  Oral Hygiene as a Risk Factor in Infective Endocarditis

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Abstract: There are many known associations between oral and systemic diseases. This review paper summarizes the proposed mechanisms underlying the links between dental disease and cardiovascular disease before introducing recent research regarding bacteria-platelet interactions. New protein factors have been identified on dental plaque bacteria. One of these, PadA, triggers blood to clot. This research provides new information about how Streptococcus bacteria and platelets interact and could lead to the development of new ways to control the formation of blood clots caused by micro-organisms that access the bloodstream.

Clinical relevance: This article aims to provide the whole dental team with an overview of bacteria-platelet interactions. This is of particular relevance to infective endocarditis and the recent change in wording to the NICE antibiotic prophylaxis guidelines in the UK.

Author notes: Jennifer A Haworth, PhD, Academic Clinical Lecturer, Bristol Dental School, University of Bristol, Richard G Mears, BDS, General Dental Practitioner, Combe Road Dental Practice, 6 Combe Road, Portishead, BS20 6BJ and Clinical Teaching Fellow, Restorative Dentistry, Bristol Dental School, University of Bristol, Howard F Jenkinson, PhD, Professor of Oral Microbiology, Bristol Dental School, University of Bristol, Steve W Kerrigan, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland and Angela H Nobbs, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Oral Microbiology, Bristol Dental School, University of Bristol, Lower Maudlin Street, BS1 2LY, Bristol, UK.

Objective: To understand the links between oral and cardiovascular disease and be able to discuss these associations with at-risk patients.