Taking Care of Your Heart by Taking Care of Your Teeth

The reasons for keeping your teeth clean are fairly obvious – no one wants to deal with stained teeth, cavities and frequent trips to the dentist. But suppose having sparkling clean teeth was also good for your heart?

Data Dive

According to research published in the European Heart Journal, those who are conscientious about their dental hygiene might also enjoy better heart health. The study based its conclusions on data collected by a national health registry in South Korea. Thanks to this source, the authors were able to review the medical and dental records of nearly 250,000 adults.

Each of these individuals underwent a thorough dental screen at the beginning of the study. Furthermore, the authors noted that heart disease was entirely absent amongst the participants when the study began. It should also be noted that each adult was at least forty years of age, and had their health documented for nearly a decade. 

The main findings of the report are listed below: 

  • Adults with relatively poor dental health (including those with gum disease, cavities and missing teeth) were more likely to fall victim to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and heart-related death. This finding was in line with previous research on this topic.
  • Those who consistently brushed their teeth one extra time each day cut their risk of significant cardiovascular problems by nearly 10 percent.
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, subjects who regularly visited their dentist enjoyed better health health than those who shunned dental visits. Specifically, these adults saw their risk of negative heart events fall by 14 percent. 

So what could explain this possible link? It might be that the inflammation caused by gum disease may have a sort of domino effect in the arteries, causing these blood vessels to likewise become inflamed. While more research is necessary to better understand the relationship between heart health and dental health, the study offers yet another reason for adults and children alike to keep their teeth in good condition.

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