Brush­ing teeth can ‘cut heart fail­ure risk’

Scottish Daily Mail - - The Brexmas Election - Daily Mail Re­porter

BRUSH­ING your teeth at least three times a day could lower the risk of heart fail­ure by more than 10 per cent, a ma­jor study has found.

Re­searchers linked it to a lower risk of heart fail­ure and atrial fib­ril­la­tion, a con­di­tion that causes an ir­reg­u­lar heart rate.

It is thought that fre­quent brush­ing re­duces bac­te­ria liv­ing be­tween the teeth and gums, pre­vent­ing it en­ter­ing the blood­stream. Sci­en­tists in South Korea ex­am­ined the con­nec­tion be­tween oral hy­giene and heart prob­lems in the study of 161,000 peo­ple aged be­tween 40 and 79.

They had a rou­tine med­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion be­tween 2003 and 2004. By the time of a fol­low-up ten years later, around 5 per cent had de­vel­oped heart fail­ure and 3 per cent atrial fib­ril­la­tion.

Brush­ing three or more times a day was associated with a 12 per

‘Stops bac­te­ria en­ter­ing blood’

cent lower risk of heart fail­ure and a 10 per cent re­duced risk of atrial fib­ril­la­tion.

The find­ings were in­de­pen­dent of fac­tors in­clud­ing age, sex, fi­nan­cial sta­tus, reg­u­lar ex­er­cise, al­co­hol con­sump­tion and body mass in­dex.

Other stud­ies have shown that poor oral hy­giene leads to bac­te­ria in the blood, caus­ing in­flam­ma­tion in the body. This in­creases the risk of an ir­reg­u­lar beat and heart fail­ure.

The heart’s abil­ity to pump blood or re­lax and fill with blood is im­paired. Se­nior study au­thor Dr Tae-Jin Song, of Ewha Woman’s Univer­sity in Seoul, said: ‘We stud­ied a large group over a long pe­riod, which adds strength to our find­ings.’

The re­search was pub­lished in the Euro­pean Jour­nal of Pre­ven­tive Car­di­ol­ogy.

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