20 Surprising Ways You May Be Harming Your Heart

There's more to preventing heart disease than eating right and getting enough exercise (22 Photos)

Laura Flynn McCarthy on Oct 25, 2011 at 12:54PM

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20 Surprising Ways You May Be Harming Your Heart

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Forgetting to Floss

“Dental health and heart health go together, and there’s a lot of science suggesting that poor dental health and gingivitis can promote heart disease,” says JoAnne M. Foody, M.D., medical director of the cardiovascular wellness program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and editor of the American College of Cardiology’s CardioSmart website. "The chronic inflammation that occurs in the lining of the gums in the mouth sets up chronic inflammation throughout your body, and little bursts of bacteria may actually get into your bloodstream. People who brush and floss more often have excellent dental hygiene, and actually have lower rates of heart disease.”

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