Sunday, June 8, 2008

Brush twice daily to avoid heart attacks

When it comes to cardiac diseases, most of us (scientists included) link it to our diet, body fat and smoking. Little do we know that a healthy heart is also related to maintenance of good oral hygiene. Sounds unbelievable? That is what a group of scientists from Howard University, Washington D.C., Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, and National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, have found out in a study.

Their research, published in the Journal of Periodontology, establishes a direct link between oral hygiene and cardiac health and also suggests that brushing daily may cut your risks from suffering from a cardiac arrest. The scientists say that a reaction to the bacteria associated with periodontitis (inflammatory diseases that affect the tissues supporting and surrounding the teeth) may lead to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The researchers from Howard University identified 11 studies that had previously examined clinically-diagnosed periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease and analysed the results. They specifically looked for the presence of the bacteria associated with periodontal diseases and found that individuals with periodontal disease whose biomarkers showed increased bacterial exposure were more likely to develop coronary heart disease or atherogenesis (plaque formation in the arteries).

While the scientists say that they need more time to better understand the linkage between periodontal diseases and cardiac arrests, they are sure that brushing twice daily and maintaining good oral hygiene will definitely help in protecting yourself from cardiac arrests.

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