Health & Wellness

Give Heart Disease the Brush-Off 

Brush your teeth diligently and you might also be helping to keep your ticker in top shape


By Wendy Haaf

Photo: Stock/PonyWang.

Caring for your teeth might help you avoid cardiovascular disease, according to a study.

When researchers studied participants’ responses to queries about their teeth-brushing behaviour, those who brushed less than twice a day for less than two minutes had three times the incidence of heart attack, heart failure, or stroke—including those who ultimately succumbed to these conditions—compared with those who brushed for at least two minutes twice daily.

While that doesn’t prove that conscientious oral care protects your heart (for example, people who take good care of their teeth may be more likely to stick to other healthy habits), it adds to evidence linking poor oral health with a bump in heart disease risk.

Another study recently found that gum disease seems to worsen blood pressure and interfere with drugs used to treat hypertension. Source: American Heart Association Scientific Sessions