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.
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.
In their study, they examined atrial fibrillation’s associations with both heart failure and poor oral hygiene.
A-fib is a condition affecting at least 2.7 million people in the United States. In people with A-fib, the heart cannot efficiently pump blood to the rest of the body because it does not beat regularly.
The heart also does not pump blood as it should in people with heart failure. This inefficiency results in fatigue and, sometimes, breathing difficulties, as insufficient oxygen reaches the other organs in the body.
Researchers looked at more than 150,000 adults. they found brushing your teeth three or more times a day led to a lower risk of heart failure and a common heart rhythm disorder.
One theory is that brushing reduces the bacteria that builds up between the teeth and gums, preventing the germs from moving into the bloodstream.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), they also found that brushing for at least two minutes twice a day is recommended for both your oral and heart health. The AHA’s research found that people who brush for at least those four minutes total every day are three times less likely to experience heart failure, a heart attack, or a stroke.