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Regular toothbrushing may reduce heart disease risk

Cover Media logo Cover Media 5 days ago

Regular toothbrushing may help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, researchers report.

Academics from the Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea have discovered that those who brushed their teeth three or more times a day had a 12 per cent lower risk of heart failure, compared to those who didn't.

Poor oral hygiene can lead to bacteria entering the bloodstream, causing inflammation in the body, which subsequently increases the risk of developing heart conditions such as an irregular heartbeat, heart disease, and heart failure.

a person brushing the teeth © Provided by Cover Media

The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, enrolled more than 161,000 people from the Korean National Health Insurance System, aged 40 to 79, with no previous history of heart problems. 

Participants underwent a routine medical examination between 2003 and 2004, with researchers collecting information relating to the height, weight, lifestyle, oral health, and oral hygiene of participants.

During a follow-up after 10 years, 4,911 (three per cent) participants had developed an irregular heartbeat and 7,971 (4.9 per cent) had heart failure.

Those who brushed their teeth three or more times a day also had a 10 per cent lower risk of having an irregular heartbeat.

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It is thought that frequent toothbrushing reduces the bacteria in the teeth and gums, therefore, preventing it from entering the bloodstream.

Senior author Dr. Tae-Jin Song noted that more analysis is needed in order to prove a conclusive link between toothbrushing and heart disease.

"While the role of inflammation in the occurrence of cardiovascular disease is becoming more and more evident, intervention studies are needed to define strategies of public health importance," he added.

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