Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Heart

apple with a heart

A new report from the British Medical Journal states that brushing your teeth may be an important way to help your heart. Scottish researchers examined the toothbrushing habits of over 11,000 men and women over the course of eight years. Those individuals who rated their oral hygiene habits as poor (indicating that they “rarely/never brushed their teeth”) experienced a 70% increased risk of cardiovascular events versus the group reporting good oral hygiene. The group with poor brushing habits “also had increased concentrations of both C reactive protein and fibrinogen” which are considered markers of inflammation. The authors write that “inflammation plays an important role in the [development] of atherosclerosis, and markers of low grade inflammation have been consistently associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.” Although additional research has found a link between inflammation and heart disease, the authors are careful to state that “future experimental studies will be needed to confirm whether the observed association between oral health behavior and cardiovascular disease is in fact causal or merely a risk marker.”

Click here to read the full study.

Vanessa Hurley

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