Can Tooth brushing Prevent A Heart Attack?
In the real estate world, there is a saying to guide those who wish to be successful. When asked what are the three most important things in selling or purchasing real estate, the answer given is, “Location, Location, and Location”. A similar thought appears in the health field. If you want find the three top secrets to good health, the answer is “Lifestyle, Lifestyle and Lifestyle. Choose the proper lifestyle and you will not fall prey to many of the diseases that plague us in our time. Those of you who follow me regularly and/or are patients of mine know how much emphasis that I place on life style. A new study just appeared which showed that brushing teeth thoroughly to remove plaque could help prevent heart attacks and strokes by reducing inflammation in the body to levels close to what can be achieved by statins.
I have written a number of times how the studies have shown that people with diseased gums are also more likely to suffer heart disease but it had never been shown that good dental health could lower the risk. This new study used a special toothpaste to remove plaque, the sticky bacterial buildup from teeth. Researchers found that people using the special toothpaste were able to remove twice as much plaque than those using a normal toothpaste and their levels of inflammation also fell by 29 per cent. Statins lower inflammation by around 37 per cent. The lead author of the study is the same one, Professor Hennekens, who discovered the benefit of aspirin in the 1990’s.
He commented, “I think this could have policy implications for tens of millions of people alongside statins, aspirin, and beta blockers and other agents that help lower cardiovascular disease.” That is a huge statement. Benefits are unlimited and side effects are almost non-existent.
“We want to try this out on bigger numbers of people with heart disease so we can see if it is actually able to prevent heart attacks and strokes. So this is a jumping off point, but it’s an important result,” said Professor Hennekens Leaving plaque on teeth creates a state of inflammation. Studies have shown that chronic inflammation may fan the fires of heart disease. Now we have our first evidence that removing the source of inflammation is beneficial not only for the mouth, but for our cardiovascular system as well.
But even with the best brushing techniques, there are a number of areas that are very hard to keep clean. Old fillings that are rough, broken or chipped teeth, and spaces that may develop between your teeth are sources of chronic inflammation. These areas should be smoothed, fixed or replaced to create an environment that is less conducive to bacterial and plaque accumulation. Modern bonding techniques and newer tooth replacement techniques all have this goal in mind.
Of course, the step before brushing is to eat those foods that leave behind the least amount of residue. Staying away from those types of foods, make our brushing easier. With Halloween approaching let’s keep this in mind. If you are going to indulge yourself, I recommend doing it all at one time rather than grazing the entire day on junk food. We come full circle to lifestyle. Good nutrition and proper hygiene will go along way for you. Are you overdue for your cleaning? Give us a call and reboot your mouth back to a state of cleanliness and renewed health. I can be reached at 440.951.7856