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Regularly Brushing Teeth Associated With Reducing Heart Risk

Posted by SoundHealth on Monday, July 05, 2010
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People who don't brush their teeth twice a day may be putting themselves at risk of heart disease. A study of more than 11,000 adults backs previous research linking gum disease with heart problems.

BBC News reports:

"It is known that inflammation in the body, including in the mouth and gums, has an important role in the build up of clogged arteries, which can lead to a heart attack. But this is the first time that researchers have looked at whether the frequency of teeth brushing has any bearing on the risk of developing heart disease."

... Researchers found those with the worst oral hygiene had a 70 percent increased chance of developing the condition compared with those who brush their teeth twice a day.

Those with poor oral hygiene also tested positive in blood samples for proteins which are suggestive of inflammation."

70 percent is a pretty significant increase in disease risk.

These findings are also in line with other research suggesting a link between gum disease, inflammation and cardiovascular disease, and add further to the theory that regularly brushing teeth may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Good oral health is a fundamental part of optimal health, and a great deal of evidence links the state of your teeth and gums to your overall health. Looking after your teeth and gums to avoid gum disease is a good strategy as this condition also increases your risk of several other serious diseases, including lung disease, diabetes and stroke.

Inflammation and Disease

Gum disease and heart disease are both linked to chronic inflammation, because inflammation in the body plays a major role in the build-up of plaque in arteries, which can lead to heart problems. Therefore reducing inflammation is vitally importance for overall health.

As well as brushing your teeth regularly, other strategies to help prevent chronic inflammation in the body are eating a healthy diet by minimizing sugar, processed and highly refined foods, and exercising regularly.

Research Paper Details:

de Oliveira C, Watt R, Hamer M. Toothbrushing, inflammation, and risk of cardiovascular disease: results from Scottish health Survey. BMJ 2010;340:c2451.


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