Bozart Family Dentistry Tip of the Week: What do Regular Cleanings have to do with your Heart Health?

By / Health and Wellness / Wednesday, 19 November 2014 05:00

Studies show that you can actually help your heart by getting your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. That’s right, there are even more benefits of having good dental hygiene than just a sparkling white smile.
    Simple dental hygiene like brushing, flossing, rinsing, and visiting your dentist regularly may be good for your heart and brain health, as well as your smile of course! In a recent study, people that did these simple things, and only visited the dentist twice a year as recommended, were 24% less likely to have a heart attack when compared to those that didn’t visit the dentist. Furthermore, their risk of stroke also dropped by 13%!
    Further studies link chronic inflammation to hardening of the arteries, which in turn can result in a heart attack or stroke.  Fully cleaning your teeth rids your mouth of bacteria that can lead to infection and inflammation, which can then spread to other areas of your body. Hence, the direct relation between oral health and heart health.
Further Benefits of Frequent Dental Cleanings - The study went on to analyze the records of more than 100,000 people in a large national healthcare system's database. Of this study, only about half had received a yearly cleaning, whereas the other half had never had a cleaning. The average age was 38 years old and none of them had suffered a heart attack or stroke at the onset of the research. For seven years, their health was monitored. In the end, the results proved that people who had more than one cleaning during a year showed the lowest risk of stroke and heart attack.
The research, however, lacked information on weight, smoking history, and race which are risk factors for hearth attack and stroke. It just could be that people with good dental hygiene are more likely to live a healthy lifestyle of eating right and exercising as well. Just another reason to have your teeth cleaned more than once a year as you're all hopefully already doing.
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