New study links poor toothbrushing habits to heart disease

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New study links poor toothbrushing habits to heart disease

New research suggests that brushing one's teeth less than twice a day for less than 2 minutes at a time may lead to a threefold increase in risk of developing cardiovascular disease. (Photograph: Aleksandr Lupin/Shutterstock)

Thu. 22. November 2018


CHICAGO, US/LONDON, UK: A new study presented during the 2018 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions held recently has suggested that brushing one’s teeth at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes may reduce one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Numerous studies have established a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, but few have looked specifically at whether toothbrushing habits are associated with the latter group of conditions. For this study, a team of researchers from Hiroshima University’s Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences led by Dr Shogo Matsui examined the toothbrushing behaviour of 682 participants. After adjusting for various factors, they found that those who reported brushing less than twice a day for less than 2 minutes at a time had a threefold increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared with those who brushed their teeth for at least 2 minutes twice daily.

In response, the Oral Health Foundation, a leading charity working to combat oral disease in the UK, stressed the importance of taking charge of one’s oral health, stating that it can provide benefits that go far beyond the mouth.

“Findings like this may sound slightly scary to hear but it could prove to be just the push we need to take better care of our oral health,” said Dr Nigel Carter, OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation. “This study adds to the growing scientific evidence that this is a strong link between the health of our mouth and that of our body.”

“For many years, gum disease has been linked with conditions like strokes, diabetes, dementia, and pregnancy outcomes. These are all serious conditions that could impact on a person’s quality of life,” he continued.

“Looking after our mouth should be a priority every day and the benefits of doing so are simply too important to ignore,” Carter said.

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