Yes, yes, like most people, I don’t really want to go to the dentist, so I’ve been delaying my six-month appointment. Really it’s a pain. Either I have to skip out of work or I have to do an early morning appointment that disrupts the routine of my entire household. And at the very least, I need to improve my teeth-brushing habits, to get better at meeting the recommended twice-a-day recommendation. Here’s why:
A study published online in the medical journal BMJ found that good oral hygiene reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Actually, it found bad oral hygiene increased the risk but it seems like the reverse is clear, although the researchers from University College London in England said, “the causal nature of the association is yet to be determined.”
The researchers analyzed data from the Scottish Health Survey on 11,869 men and women with an average age of 50. The researchers tracked the participants for an average of more than 8 years and identified 555 cardiovascular events, including 170 that resulted in the person’s death. Most (411) were related to heart disease. They also examined how frequently the participants visited the dentist (every six months, every year or two, or rarely/never) and how often the brushed their teeth (twice a day, once a day, less than that.)
Those participants who reported poor oral hygiene habits (rarely or never brushed) were 70 percent more likely to experience a cardiovascular event compared with those who brushed twice a day.
The researchers concluded that “poor oral hygiene is associated with higher levels of risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Now, I kind of feel like I should go brush my teeth.