Study Shows That Regular Teeth Brushing And Good Oral Hygiene Linked To Lower Heart Failure Risk
According to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), regular teeth brushing
and proper oral hygiene
is linked with lower risks of atrial fibrillation
and heart failure
Past research suggests that poor oral hygiene
leads to bacteria in the blood, causing inflammation in the body. Inflammation increases the risks of atrial fibrillation
(irregular heartbeat) and heart failure
(the heart's ability to pump blood or relax and fill with blood is impaired). This study examined the connection between oral hygiene and occurrence of these two conditions.
The new retrospective cohort study enrolled 161,286 participants of the Korean National Health Insurance System aged 40 to 79 with no history of atrial fibrillation or heart failure. Participants underwent a routine medical examination between 2003 and 2004. Information was collected on height, weight, laboratory tests, illnesses, lifestyle, oral health
, and oral hygiene
During a median follow-up of 10.5 years, 4,911 (3.0%) participants developed atrial fibrillation
and 7,971 (4.9%) developed heart failure
It was shown that tooth brushing
three or more times a day was associated with a 10% lower risk of atrial fibrillation
and a 12% lower risk of heart failure
during 10.5-year follow up. The findings were independent of a number of factors including age, sex, socioeconomic status, regular exercise, alcohol consumption, body mass index, and comorbidities such as hypertension.
Although the study did not investigate mechanisms, one possibility is that frequent tooth brushing
reduces bacteria in the subgingival biofilm (bacteria living in the pocket between the teeth and gums), thereby preventing translocation to the bloodstream.
Senior author Dr. Tae-Jin Song of Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea noted that the analysis was limited to one country and as an observational study does not prove causation. But he told Thailand Medical
New, "We studied a large group over a long period, which adds strength to our findings."
"It is certainly too early to recommend tooth brushing
for the prevention of atrial fibrillation
and congestive heart failure
". It adds: "While the role of inflammation in the occurrence of cardiovascular disease is becoming more and more evident, intervention studies are needed to define strategies of public health importance." an accompanying editorial states.
Proper and good oral hygiene
not only lowers cardiovascular and heart incidences, but it also prevents a multitude of gastro diseases and also helps prevent oral cancer.
1Chang Y, Woo HG, Park J, et al. Improved oral hygiene care is associated with decreased risk of occurrence for atrial fibrillation and heart failure: A nationwide population-based cohort study. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2019. doi:10.1177/2047487319886018.
2Meyre P, Conen D. Does tooth brushing protect from atrial fibrillation and heart failure? Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2019. doi:10.1177/2047487319886413.