Know How Your Oral Health Can Protect Your Heart, Too

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From a very young age, we are taught that brushing teeth is essential for maintaining oral hygiene, hence we must do it twice a day. Now, a 2019 study claimed that brushing teeth can also lower the risks of atrial fibrillation and heart failure. The research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology, revealed the connection between oral hygiene and heart.

According to the study, poor oral hygiene leads to bacteria in the blood, which further causes inflammation in the body. The inflammation increases the risks of irregular heartbeat (in technical terms atrial fibrillation) and heart failure.

The study was conducted on 161,286 people belonging to the Korean National Health Insurance System between the age of 40 to 79. The participants had no history of atrial fibrillation or heart failure, and they underwent a routine medical examination between 2003 and 2004. Information about the weight, height, laboratory tests, oral health, oral hygiene behaviours, illnesses, and lifestyle was collected. “In the lot, during a median follow-up of 10.5 years, roughly around 3.0% of participants developed atrial fibrillation, while 4.9% developed heart failure,” the study said.

The study stated that tooth brushing three or more times a day reduced the risk of atrial fibrillation by 10% and lowered the risk of heart failure by 12% in the follow-up. Researchers mentioned that the findings were independent of age, sex, regular exercise, alcohol consumption, socioeconomic status, body mass index, and comorbidities.

Even though the research was limited to one country, the Senior author of Seoul’s Ewha Womans University, Dr. Tae-Jin Song believes the findings of the study stand strong as a large group of people were studied for a long period.

Despite the fact brushing teeth is linked to heart health or not, it is vital to maintain oral health. And here’s how you can take care of it:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush and change it after every 3-4 months. The dentist advised that you use a fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing also helps to maintain oral health.
  • After brushing, use a mouthwash to rinse your mouth. It will remove all the minute germs which still remain post brushing.
  • Sugary food and drinks should be avoided.
  • Say no to tobacco, as it exploits your oral hygiene.

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