Along with eating healthy varieties of nuts in moderation, brushing your teeth is one of the easier things you can do to protect your heart, according to a British study.
Researchers collected data on nearly 12,000 patients participating in the Scottish Healthy Survey (median age 50) in separate visits on lifestyle habits (including smoking and dental habits and exercise) and medical histories and blood samples. Patients were also asked how often they went to the dentist and how many times they brushed their teeth every day.
During an eight-year follow-up period, 555 patients were diagnosed with cardiovascular problems and nearly a third (170) died from them. By the numbers, toothbrushing less than twice a day was associated with increasing a patient's risk of developing heart problems by 70 percent. What's more, increased concentrations of C reactive protein and fibrinogen (both produced by the liver) were linked to less frequent toothbrushing.
The good news: Dental health among study participants was generally good. Seventy-one percent brushed their teeth twice a day and 62 percent saw the dentist every six months.
British Medical Journal, Vol. 340, pp. 2451, May 27, 2010 Free Full Text Study
Guardian.co.uk May 28, 2010
Medical News Today May 28, 2010