Frequent Toothbrushing Can Lower Heart Disease Risk

You will never look at toothbrushing again as a routine hygiene to take lightly or you can do without. A recent study found that people who brush their teeth less frequently have a 70% increased risk of heart disease compared with those who brushed their teeth twice a day. When people don't brush their teeth regularly, they are prone to periodontitis, a chronic gum infection. This will manifest at first as gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, which not only causes bad breath but also sets off a chain of events in our bloodstream.

One of our body's responses to inflammation is blood coagulation, or clotting. Protein substances in our blood that cause blood to get sticky rise when there is inflammation. When this condition becomes chronic or persistent, it will cause accumulation of plaque that blocks normal blood flow to the blood vessels, a condition called atherosclerosis. Plaque that has already formed in the arteries may also be swollen by bacteria and cause further narrowing of these blood vessels. This heart disease leads to stroke and heart attack.

People who reported poor oral hygiene tested positive for these clotting protein substances, which are inflammatory markers in blood tests. With the strong link between periodontal disease and risk of cardiovascular disease, people are advised not to take chances and observe oral hygiene. Prevention is still the best cure. Being diligent with the simple acts of toothbrushing and flossing can prevent the risk of a fatal cardiac event.

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"Dr. Rich has lectured extensively on cosmetic, implant and reconstructive dentistry and regularly participates in continuing-education study groups. She has presented scientific programs before local dental societies and the California Dental..."
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