Brush Twice a Day to Keep Heart Disease Away!

That’s right. According to a report published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in May 2010, people can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease if they brush their teeth twice daily.

Previous studies have already demonstrated the link between cardiovascular disease and gum disease (periodontal disease). It has also been well documented that inflammation of the gums and mouth, which may be undetectable to individuals, is a significant contributor to plaque that can limit blood flow and block arteries. According to the results of Professor Richard Watt from University College London, and the rest of the research team in the Britan,  number of times individuals brush their teeth has a significant impact on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Over 11,000 adults who participated in a Scottish Healthy Survey provided information about their lifestyle habits including: physical activity, oral health routines, smoking, and dental visit regimens.  Then, medical history and family history information was gathered from hospital admission and death records to compare the degree of body inflammation, one of the biggest contributors to heart disease.   The totals, as follows:

• Over 60% of the participants visit their dentist every six months
• Over 70% brush their teeth twice a daily.
• Participants who had poor oral hygiene tested positive for inflammatory markers such as the C-reactive protein and fibrinogen.

Then, this data was compared to cardiovascular disease risk factors such as social class, smoking, obesity and family history of heart disease to find that people who brushed their teeth less than twice daily were at a 70% increased risk for heart disease compared to individuals who brushed their teeth twice a day. These study results are not considered conclusive to date, but do suggest the need for further studies to support the validity of claims. In the meantime, we have another reason to be certain to have a perfect oral health day.

If you are interested in identifying your risk factors for oral inflammation, call Dr. Mark Sweeney, an Austin Texas dentist at (512) 452-9296.