Brushing up on Heart Disease

According to a new study published in the British Medical Journal, adults who brush their teeth less than once a day face an increased risk for heart disease.

Nearly 12,000 Scottish adults answered questions about oral hygiene and then were followed for 8 years. During that time, there were 555 cardiovascular disease events, including 170 deaths.

After adjustment for confounders such as concomitant illness, sex, age, weight, smoking and physical exercise, participants who brushed their teeth less than once a day were 70% more likely to suffer cardiovascular disease than those who brushed twice daily. Poor oral hygiene was linked to elevated levels of C-reactive protein and other inflammatory biomarkers.

The authors say their findings suggest “a possible role of poor oral hygiene in the risk of cardiovascular disease via systemic inflammation,” and they stress the importance of counseling patients on the benefits of good oral health.

These results confirm findings from several observational epidemiological studies that showed that poor periodontal health status is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Word on Health wonders, have you brushed today?