Can Brushing Your Teeth Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Cardiovascular Disease?

Anyone who doesn’t brush their teeth at least twice a day is at increased risk of developing heart disease according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. Although many studies have shown that periodontal disease is linked to the hardening of the arteries, this was the first study to investigate whether or not there was a link between the number of times a person brushes their teeth each day and their risk of developing heart disease.

This particular study looked at data collected from 11,000 adults who had taken part in the Scottish Health Survey. This study was particularly relevant to the Scottish population as the incidence of cardiovascular disease is quite high. The survey asked individuals about their lifestyle behaviours including physical activity, oral health routines and whether or not they smoked. They were also asked how frequently they visited their dentist and how often they cleaned their teeth. Additional information included their medical history, and whether or not there was a family history of heart disease and blood pressure problems.

Blood samples were collected from a subgroup and subsequently tested for C-reactive proteins and fibrinogen levels. The levels of C-reactive proteins rise in response to any signs of inflammation, while the fibrinogen levels are relevant as research has shown fibrin can play a key role in the body’s inflammatory response, and the levels are associated with cardiovascular disease. All the data collected from the interviews were linked to hospital admissions and any subsequent deaths.

The results were generally pretty good, as 62% visited the dentist every six months, and 71% brushed their teeth twice a day. The data was adjusted to take into account any established risk factors, and found participants who brush their teeth less frequently had an increased risk of developing heart disease in comparison to participants who brush their teeth twice a day. Those participants with poor oral hygiene had higher levels of C reactive protein and fibrinogen in their blood samples.

The study showed those who brushed their teeth less frequently increased their risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease by up to 70%. Although more studies will be needed to establish whether the association between cardiovascular disease and oral hygiene is causal, it does highlight the importance of regular toothbrushing and these results do strengthen that association.

The fact that brushing your teeth twice a day could potentially reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is very exciting. This news only further supports the American Heart Association’s position on the link between gum disease and heart disease. it is an incredibly simple and straightforward way of reducing risk and preventing periodontal disease.

Oliveira et al. Toothbrushing, inflammation, and risk of cardiovascular disease: results from Scottish Health Survey. BMJ 2010; 340 doi 10.11236

Image via: Creative Commons

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3 Responses to “Can Brushing Your Teeth Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Cardiovascular Disease?”

  1. I believe that is among the such a lot significant information for me. And i’m glad studying your article. However wanna commentary on few general issues, The website taste is great, the articles is really nice : D. Excellent job, cheers

  2. Sandy Henry says:

    Great post! I think its amazing how something like oral health can affect an entirely different function of the body! I recently read how oral hygiene is related with diabetes.

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