Taking good care of your teeth could prevent a heart attack, a new study claims
Recently news broke that brushing your teeth more carefully to get rid of plaque could significantly lower your chances of getting heart attacks and strokes by reducing inflammation levels in the body.
The findings were published in the American Journal of Medicine and were based on a study of 61 patients who were given a special toothpaste, which highlighted plaque on the teeth, for 60 days.
The study revealed that people using special toothpaste could remove twice the amount of plaque than those using normal toothpaste, lowering their inflammation levels by 29 per cent. Statins, meanwhile, lower inflammation by only a fraction more at 37 per cent.
The study is one of many conducted over the years that shows a direct link between gum and heart disease, however, it is the first to suggest that taking good care of your teeth could significantly lower the risk of developing such problems.
Professor Charles Hennekens of Florida Atlantic University was also behind the ground-breaking research that uncovered the benefits of aspirin to heart health in the 1990s. He and his team are hoping to extend their findings on the link between dental care and heart disease prevention by carrying out a larger study of 6,000 people with heart disease to see if the method will help prevent them from getting heart attacks and strokes in the future.
Dr Mervyn Druian comments on the news:
“From previous studies, we know that there is a link between oral health and heart disease but these new studies by Florida Atlantic University showing that good dental health can actually lower the risk of heart disease is highly significant.
As medical research progresses, we are finding more and more links between good oral health and your general wellbeing and a good, oral hygiene routine is not only imperative for your teeth and gums but it also seems vitally important for your health.
One of the key signs that gum disease is prevalent is halitosis (bad breath) and if you have noticed or a close relative has commented, then I highly recommend a trip to your dentist, where they will be able to tackle the issue or recommend further medical treatment.
As a dentist who has campaigned for many years on the benefits of oral hygiene, I very much welcome this study. We know that inflammation is connected to cardiovascular disease and if brushing and flossing to remove plaque decreases inflammation by 29%, statins are around 37% this can only be a good thing. I hope more funding is granted to further study this important breakthrough.”