Brushing teeth frequently can lower the risks of atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) and heart failure, according to a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The study argues that poor oral hygiene leads to bacteria in the blood which causes inflammation in the body.
This increases the risks of atrial fibrillation and heart failure where the heart is unable to pump blood or relax and fill blood. The researchers aimed at examining the connection between oral hygiene and occurrence of these two conditions. Brushing teeth three or more times daily, according to the study, was associated with a 10 per cent lower risk of atrial fibrillation and a 12 per cent lower risk of heart failure during the follow-up period.
The study’s lead author Dr Tae-Jin Song of Ewha Womans University, South Korea says that one possible cause of this is that frequent tooth brushing reduces bacteria living in the pocket between the teeth and gums, thus preventing translocation to the bloodstream.