Brush Your Teeth for Heart Health
Risk of a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack went up 70% in people who brush their teeth less than twice a day
Everyone knows to brush and floss to keep their smile sparkling, but it comes as a surprise to many that mouth health may also be important for your heart. A new study in the British Medical Journal found that the risk of having a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack went up 70% in people who brush their teeth less than twice a day.
Brush twice a day
"Periodontal" disease affects the tissues that surround teeth, such as gums. Poor oral hygiene has been shown to be a major cause of periodontal disease and prior studies have linked it to higher rates of cardiovascular disease. To further examine this link, researchers reviewed data from the Scottish Health Survey. The survey included reports from 11,869 men and women, average age 50, on a variety of health behaviors, such as frequency of tooth brushing. Survey participants were followed for cardiovascular events for an average of about eight years. A subset of people also had blood samples taken for a variety of health measures, which showed:
Tips for dental health
Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognized organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker.