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Wednesday 26th October 2016

'Halt' heart disease by brushing teeth

28th May 2010

A study has suggested that brushing your teeth on a regular basis can help cut the risk of heart disease.


Research published in the British Medical Journal has indicated that people who fail to brush their teeth twice a day are putting themselves at risk of heart disease.

The study of more than 11,000 adults found those with poor oral hygiene had an increased risk of developing heart disease compared with those who brushed twice a day.

The findings tie in the existing studies that highlight a link between gum disease and heart problems.

However, Professor Richard Watt from University College London, who led the research, said future studies were required to confirm whether the link between oral health behaviour and cardiovascular disease "is in fact causal or merely a risk marker".

Data for the eight-year study focussed on people’s lifestyle behaviour, family history how often they visited the dentist and brushed their teeth.

Six out of 10 people said they visited the dentist every six months and 70% brushed their teeth twice a day.

Over the period of the study there were 555 "cardiovascular events" such as heart attacks, 170 of which were fatal.

Judy O'Sullivan, senior cardiac nurse at British Heart Foundation, said the findings may be complicated by the fact that poor oral hygiene is often associated with other well known risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking and poor diet.

The British Dental Association said it was still unclear whether there was a definite cause and effect between oral hygiene and heart disease.


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