News & blogs News Tooth brushing habits tied to risk of heart disease 20 November 2018 Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste can lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease – according to a new study. The new research reveals that regularly brushing your teeth for enough time can decrease the risk of developing heart problems by as much as three times. The American study, examining the tooth-brushing habits of nearly 700 adults, investigated the risk of having or dying from a heart attack, heart failure or stroke. It also highlighted the likelihood that poor oral health can lead to poor general health and wellbeing in other areas of the body. In response to these findings, the Oral Health Foundation is keen to stress the importance of taking good care of your oral health, believing it can provide benefits that go far beyond the mouth. Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, says: “Findings like this may sound slightly scary to hear but it could prove to be just the push we need to take better care of our oral health. “This study adds to the growing scientific evidence that this is a strong link between the health of our mouth and that of our body. “For many years, gum disease has been linked with conditions like strokes, diabetes, dementia, and pregnancy outcomes. These are all serious conditions that could impact on a person’s quality of life. “Looking after our mouth should be a priority every day and the benefits of doing so are simply too important to ignore.” The new study was presented during an American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting in Chicago. It follows European research conducted earlier this year which highlighted a link between gum disease and erectile dysfunction. “The time it takes to brush our teeth is such a small portion of our day and the impact it could have is highly significant. In some cases, it can be potentially life-saving,” Dr Carter adds. “One of the most common oral health problems we encounter is gum disease. This has been shown to have a detrimental impact on our heart health, in addition to other aspects of our wellbeing. “Fortunately, gum disease is an entirely preventable and treatable disease. “Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning in between your teeth once a day using interdental brushes and maintaining regular visits to the dentist are the best way to avoid problems like gum disease.” If you would like advice about caring for your oral health, contact the Oral Health Foundation’s free and impartial Dental Helpline on 01788 539 780.