To Your Health
October, 2010 (Vol. 04, Issue 10)
Brush Your Teeth and Lower Heart Disease Risk
By Editorial Staff
Periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease aren't conditions to be taken lightly, but faced with a choice, most people would probably choose the former over the latter. Unfortunately, you may not have the choice if you ignore sound dental habits and brush less than two times a day.
A recent study suggests that poor oral hygiene actually increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In the study, researchers surveyed more than 11,000 adult men and women (average age: 50 years) on their brushing habits and determined the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and levels of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen, high levels of which indicate a state of inflammation in the body. Results showed that in eight-plus years, there were a total of 555 cardiovascular events (170 of which were fatal), with events more likely to be experienced by participants who reported "never or rarely" brushing their teeth (30 percent higher risk if brushing once daily, 70 percent higher risk if brushing less than once daily). Levels of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen were also high compared to those who reported better oral hygiene.
We're taught how to brush from an early age. But like many behaviors reinforced in our early years, they don't always translate into adulthood, at least not as consistently as they should (always washing your hands after going to the bathroom or before eating is another one). Take the time to brush your teeth - your teeth (and your heart) will thank you for it.