Or at the very least – make it a lot harder for heart disease to strike!
Other than that lovely sparkling smile, brushing your teeth minimizes your chances of suffering a heart attack, according to a new study – although I do remember our family doctor telling us this back in the 1960’s.
Recent research shows that people who maintained poor oral hygiene were tested positive for bloodstream inflammatory markers like fibrinogen and CRP (C-reactive protein). The research was based on criteria like
- lifestyle habits (smoking, overall physical activity, and oral health routines)
- frequency of visits to the dentist (six months, every one to two years, rarely, never),
- frequency of brushing teeth (twice daily, once a day, or less than every day)
- cardiovascular risk factors like obesity, smoking, social class
- family history of heart disease
People who brushed their teeth less frequently had a 70% additional risk of heart disease.
Moral of the story? Oral hygiene and risk of cardiovascular disease are closely associated. Bad oral hygiene causes periodontal disease, a chronic infection of the teeth’s surrounding tissues. So, gum infections simply add to the inflammation, raising the risk of cardiovascular risk.
Since oral infections are common, doctors must be alert to any mouth infections as this could be a sign of increased inflammation. Thus, brush your teeth regularly and make sure you follow good oral hygiene.