Does brushing teeth affect your heart health? New study finds the answer

Experts believe that people who care for their oral health will equally give sufficient care to other body parts including the heart

A new study conducted by a team of researchers has found that oral health has crucial significance in determining the heart health of an individual. The study conducted on 161,286 people in Korea has found that brushing the teeth regularly is linked to a low risk of developing atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

During the study, that spanned over a decade, researchers analyzed the heart health of adults between the ages of 40 and 79 who brushed their teeth three or more times a day. The final result of the study suggested that people who brushed regularly have a 10 percent lower risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) and a 12 percent lower risk of coronary heart failure (CHF) when compared to people who brushed their teeth less than three times.

The study does not indicate that oral health can prevent cardiovascular diseases

Heart representational picture
Picture for representation Pixabay

It should be noted that these findings were independent of various other cardiovascular health affecting factors like age, sex, exercise pattern, socio-economic status, alcohol consumption, body mass index (BMI) and hypertension.

However, the new study report does not indicate that oral health can prevent cardiovascular diseases. Experts believe that people who care for their oral hygiene will be careful about the health of other body parts too, and it might be compelling them to choose healthy lifestyle choices which will finally result in enhanced cardiovascular wellbeing.

"We found an association of poor oral hygiene with incident AF and CHF. The causality of these associations is unclear, and it is certainly too early to recommend toothbrushing for the prevention of AF and CHF. While the role of inflammation in the occurrence of cardiovascular disease is becoming more and more evident, intervention studies are needed to define strategies of public health importance," wrote the researchers in their study report.

Pharmacist-led interventions to prevent heart diseases

A few days back, another study had suggested that pharmacist-led interventions that include patient education, medication review and management could help to prevent cardiovascular diseases.

The study report also talked about the role that should be played by pharmacists in managing people with hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels which are considered contributing factors to AF and CHF.