Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mistletoe kisses: spreading more than holiday tidings?

"Exchanging kisses underneath the mistletoe may leave holiday revelers with more than just friendship and goodwill tidings. Passionate partygoers may swap up to 500 different species of germs, including those that cause gum disease, warns the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing education. "With just one kiss, this infection can be passed between couples and even to children," says AGD spokesperson, Lawrence Bailey, DDS, FAGD. Gum disease, a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissues, is the major cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affects three out of four persons at some point in their life and is easily transmissible though mouth-to-mouth contact. In recent years, researchers have found a possible connection between gum disease and coronary vascular disease, which can place people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. In individuals with diabetes, gum disease is associated with poor control of insulin levels. Pregnant women also need to be careful; gum disease can place pregnant women at risk for having low-birth weight babies." - redOrbit

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