Brushing your teeth twice a day could go a long way reducing the risk of heart disease, says a new study.
Over the last 20 years, there has been increased interest in links between heart problems and gum disease and it has been established that inflammation in the body, including mouth and gums, plays an important role in the build up of clogged arteries.
But the latest study investigated whether the number of times individuals brush their teeth has any bearing on the risk of developing heart disease. The authors, led by Richard Watt, professor from University College London, analysed data from over 11,000 adults who took part in the Scottish Health Survey, Sify reports.
After adjusting the data for cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, smoking, social class, and family heart disease history, the researchers found that people who admitted to brushing their teeth less frequently had a 70% extra risk of heart disease.
People who reported poor oral hygiene also tested positive for bloodstream inflammatory markers such as fibrinogen and C-reactive protein.
"Our results confirmed and further strengthened the suggested association between oral hygiene and the risk of cardiovascular disease," Richard Watt, DDS, of University College London, says in a news release. "Furthermore, inflammatory markers were significantly associated with a very simple measure of poor oral health behavior," WebMD says.