Although heart disease is often a product of genetics, there are many easy lifestyle changes that we should all make to improve our heart health. A new study has uncovered a largely unknown tactic to lower your heart disease risk: improve your dental hygiene.
In the study, researchers analyzed the health data of nearly 250,000 healthy Korean adults, using information from a national health registry. At the start of the data collection, all participants underwent a screening of their oral health. None had any known heart disease.
Researchers looked at how many times per day the participants brushed their teeth, and how often they visited the dentist. Then, those findings were compared against the reported incidents of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and death by heart-related causes.
The study found that brushing teeth one extra time each day lowered the risk of heart disease by 9 percent. In addition, going to the dentist at least once per year lowered the risk by 14 percent, compared to participants who never went to the dentist.
How Does Dental Health Affect the Heart?
It’s clear that there is a link between good dental care and heart health. However, researchers aren’t exactly sure why that link exists. One common theory is that poor oral health causes inflammation in the mouth. This could, in turn, lead to inflammation in the arteries. It may also be reversed – that inflammation caused by heart disease could contribute to oral health issues.
Whatever the reason for the connection between oral hygiene and heart health, it’s clear that brushing teeth every day and seeing the dentist regularly is an important step in caring for your heart.
Help protect the hearts of your loved ones by making dental hygiene a priority in your home – and by becoming certified in CPR. Register for a course at one of HeartCert CPR’s convenient locations in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.
HeartCert CPR is your trusted training partner for First Aid and CPR in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. We now offer online, night and weekend classes to fit your busy schedule! We offer a variety of courses, including CPR/AED/First Aid and CPR/AED, Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and Emergency Medical Responder – First Responder (EMR).