If you’re not super-stringent about your dental hygiene (I’m looking at you, Jessica Simpson), you may want to recommit to your brushing and flossing regime.
A Scottish study of 11,000 adults indicates that better oral hygiene can affect heart health. While researchers say that further study is needed to ascertain whether gum disease is a marker for or contributor to heart disease, it is known that chronic inflammation can impact cardiovascular health. During the course of the study, there were 555 “cardiovascular events” (like heart attacks), and 170 of those incidents were fatal.
The study, which controlled for other health-related factors, seems to support keeping your mouth healthy to keep your heart healthy:
Taking into account factors that affect heart disease risk, such as social class, obesity, smoking and family history, the researchers found those with the worst oral hygiene had a 70% increased chance of developing the condition compared with those who brush their teeth twice a day.
Study participants who did not brush twice daily were also far more likely to test positive for chemical markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein and fibrinogen.