New research finds that brushing the teeth three or more times a day significantly reduces the risk of atrial fibrillation and heart failure.
The bacteria in our mouths may hold the key to many facets of our health.
Researchers have found intriguing clues about pancreatic and esophageal cancer risk in mouth bacteria, and some studies have linked poor oral hygiene with respiratory problems.
Mounting evidence is also strengthening the link between oral health and cardiovascular health.
For instance, some studies have found oral bacteria in the blood clots of people receiving emergency treatment for stroke, and experts have linked severe gum disease with a significantly higher risk of hypertension.
Conversely, destroying “friendly” oral bacteria that help maintain a healthy and balanced oral microbiome could disrupt blood pressure levels and also lead to hypertension.
Maintaining good oral health, therefore, seems to be key to cardiovascular health.
Now, a new study that appears in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests that regular toothbrushing may keep heart failure and atrial fibrillation (A-fib) — a type of arrhythmia — at bay.
Dr. Tae-Jin Song of Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea, is the senior author of the new study.
In their paper, Dr. Song and team explain that the motivation for the study hinges on the mediating role of inflammation. They write, “Poor oral hygiene can provoke transient bacteremia and systemic inflammation, a mediator of atrial fibrillation and heart failure.”