Study links good oral hygiene to a healthy heart

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  • A study conducted among 161,286 people found that brushing your teeth three times a day lowers the risk of atrial fibrillation and heart failure
  • The research found that it may be due to the bacteria in the teeth and gums
  • Previous studies also found a link between the frequency of brushing the teeth and heart health

Did you know that improved oral hygiene can reduce the risk of heart failure? Well, aside from having that close up smile!

This was found by a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology and was conducted among 161,286 people in Korea.

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During a 10.5 year follow-up, the study found that adults aged 40 to 79 who brushed their teeth for three or more times a day posed 10 percent lower risk of atrial fibrillation. On the other hand, 12 percent had lower risk of heart failure. “The findings were independent of the subjects’ age, sex, socioeconomic status, exercise habits, alc0h0l consumption, BMI, and other health issues,” Science Alert said.

The theory is that bacteria in the teeth and gums may enter the bl0odstream and affect the gut’s microbiome. It can trigger systemic inflammation which “can facilitate atherosclerotic change, valve injury, and my0cardial damage, consequently resulting in heart failure.”

However, the research has limitations. “Our study could not be generalized to other ethnicity because our data set consisted of only individuals in the Asian population,” it said.

Still, the study’s conclusions match with another one conducted last year. It says that those who brush their teeth less than twice a day are at greater risk of suffering from heart problems.

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A cardiologist, however, said that it may be because those who take care of their oral health may be generally conscious of their overall health as well. “It is possible that people who are very attentive to their dental health are also very attentive to other aspects of their health,” Dr. Ann Bolger said.

Still, improving your oral hygiene, whether or not it is linked to cardiovascular health, won’t harm you. Your friends and loved ones may even thank you for regularly brushing your teeth.