Pearly whites, healthy hearts
Brush your teeth and you’ll cut your risk of heart disease, concludes a new study published in the British Medical Journal.
Researchers have long known that gum disease is associated with increased risk of heart problems. The link appears to be inflammation, which plays a role in the buildup of cholesterol in arteries. In this new study, published on BMJ.com, researchers examined whether the number of times people brush their teeth has any bearing on heart disease risk.
It does. Compared to individuals who brushed their teeth at least twice a day, those who picked up a toothbrush less often had a 70 percent higher risk of heart disease. Infrequent brushers also showed signs of increased inflammation in their bloodstreams.
The good news: 71 percent of the 11,000 adults interviewed in the study said they brushed their teeth at least twice a day. Six out of ten said they visited a dentist every six months, as recommended.