Dental Hygiene Linked to Heart Disease Problems
As if bad breath and the threat of our teeth falling out wasn't enough, there's now more reason than ever to keep up with your dental hygiene and prevent gum inflammation. Research has shown that people who fail to brush their teeth twice a day have a higher chance of heart disease.
The link between gum disease and heart problems is already known but experts have now been able to measure the effect of daily brushing.
A new study found that people who never or rarely brush their teeth are 70% more likely to suffer heart disease as those who brush twice a day.
However, the overall risk from poor oral hygiene remains quite low, they said.
Experts from University College London analysed data for more than 11,000 people with an average age of 50 taking part in the Scottish Healthy Survey.
They looked at people's brushing habits as well as their lifestyles, such as whether they smoked or took exercise.
The experts found that the link between not brushing teeth often enough and an increased risk of developing heart disease held true even when factors likely to influence the results, such as obesity, were taken into account.
Poor oral hygiene was also linked to low-grade inflammation in the blood.
Judy O'Sullivan, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "If you don't brush your teeth, your mouth can become infected with bacteria which can cause inflammation."