Brushing Your Teeth Reduces The Risk of a Heart Attack

Henrietta Strickland
December 5, 2019

Brushing your teeth could help keep your heart healthy, research suggests. "However, to date, little is known about the risk factors or association factors of atrial fibrillation and heart failure and the factors that can prevent them".

New research finds that brushing the teeth three or more times a day significantly reduces the risk of atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

Previous studies had shown that poor oral hygiene can have negative health effects, including bacteria in the blood leading to inflammation in the body, which in turn increases the risk of heart problems such as atrial fibrillation and heart failure. This could trigger inflammation that affects heart health.

Brushing our teeth might not only save us from trips to the dentist but could also protect us from heart failure, according to research.

In the United States, around 5.7 million adults suffer from the condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In severe cases, it can even be fatal. In this condition, the ability of the heart to relax or pump blood is weakened.

To learn more, the scientists looked at thousands of participants of the Korean National Health Insurance System.

For instance, some studies have found oral bacteria in the blood clots of people receiving emergency treatment for stroke, and experts have linkedsevere gum disease with a significantly higher risk of hypertension.

During a median follow-up of 10.5 years, 4,911 (3.0%) participants developed atrial fibrillation and 7,971 (4.9%) developed heart failure.

The condition affects 1.2 million people in the United Kingdom and up to 6.1 million in the U.S., statistics show.

The participants of the current study were 40-79 years old and had no history of either A-fib or heart failure.

Brushing one's teeth at least three times a day was linked with a 12 percent lower risk of heart failure, and 10 percent lower chance of developing atrial fibrillation, which can cause the organ to beat irregularly and abnormally fast.

Dr. Tae-Jin Song, the study's senior author and professor at the Ewha Woman's University in Seoul, said that they studied this large group of participants over a long period.

The scientists stress, however, maintaining good oral hygiene may not be enough to ward off cardiovascular disease.

"It is certainly too early to recommend tooth brushing for the prevention of AF [atrial fibrillation] and CHF [heart failure]", they said. They added that intervention studies are needed to define strategies of public health importance.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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