We used to think of brushing our teeth just as a matter of hygiene, but now it’s proved to be a serious health issue. Most of us brush our teeth every morning, evening, and maybe during the day if we eat something garlicky for lunch. But those who skip one of their daily teeth cleaning sessions may be putting themselves at a much greater risk for heart disease.
Researchers in England studied data from more than 11,000 people who took part in a study called the Scottish Health Survey, which took data about lifestyle habits. Participants were asked how often they went to the dentist, and how often they brushed their teeth. The researchers adjusted the data for other cardiovascular risk factors like smoking, family history, obesity, and social class, and still found that people who had poor oral hygiene habits (brushing their teeth fewer than twice a day), had a 70% greater risk of heart disease. And those who reported poor oral hygiene tested positive for fibrinogen and C-reactive protein, which are bloodstream inflammatory markers.
So, we’d better haul it back to the bathroom – brushing our teeth just got a lot more important.