Simpyhealth and Heart Research UK have funded a two year research project into the link between dental and heart health, which is being presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Chicago.
The findings, led by the University of Sheffield's School of Clinical Dentistry, found that cases of infective endocarditis, a potentially fatal infection in the heart, have risen significantly since the recommendation by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) to discontinue giving antibiotics to at risk dental patients came into effect in 2008.
At the same time a full scientific paper of the data will be published online in the medical journal The Lancet.
Barbara Harpham, national director of Heart Research UK, said: "The findings play an important part in the ongoing exploration of the link between dental and heart health. Projects such as this one are vital to the ongoing collation of evidence to support our understanding of how oral health can impact upon the heart and other conditions within the body. We are committed to furthering medical research in the UK and welcome these new findings."
The research was made possible following a donation of £150,000 by Simplyhealth, to Heart Research UK in 2012, following the providers first integrated media campaign which used TV and radio advertising, social media and PR, to raise awareness of the potential link between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease.
Howard Hughes, head of marketing communications at Simplyhealth, said: "The results of this project show just how important it is that organisations like Heart Research UK receive the funding that they need to commission potentially life changing research such as this.
"We knew that our Facebook campaign back in 2012, where every ‘Like' we received during the campaign period meant that we donated £1 to Heart Research UK, was just the start.
"Initially a one year study, the insights discovered in these preliminary results by the research team, has meant that the project has been granted a year extension to further investigate this area. We await with interest the feedback from the international scientific community on the findings."
The charity gave £98,802 to the University of Sheffield to study the link between dental health and cardiovascular disease.
Following a competitive tender for the available funds, a panel of renowned experts including Simplyhealth owned Denplan's, Deputy Chief Dental Officer Henry Clover, carefully considered over eight project proposals before selecting the University of Sheffield.
The remainder of the funds were used by Heart Research UK to deliver a series of presentations to schoolchildren about the importance of heart health.
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