Benefits of Teeth Brushing

Why Brushing Your Teeth Can Help You Live Longer
By Victoria Fletcher, Health Editor

BRUSHING your teeth could save your life. Failing to clean them properly leaves people at a higher risk of heart attacks, a study has found.

If bacteria found on teeth and gums are not cleaned off they can get into the bloodstream and ­trigger clots. A sure danger sign is bleeding gums.

Professor Howard Jenkinson, of Bristol University’s department of oral and dental science, said: “Poor dental hygiene can lead to bleeding gums, providing bacteria with an escape route into the bloodstream, where they can initiate blood clots leading to heart disease.

People need to be aware that as well as keeping a check on their diet, blood pressure, cholesterol and fitness levels, they also need to maintain good dental hygiene to minimise their risk of heart problems.”

The professor led a research team whose findings he will present at the Society for General Microbiology’s autumn meeting in Nottingham today.

Once in the bloodstream the bacteria can form a clot that could prove fatal.

An earlier study found people who rarely brush their teeth are 70 per cent more likely to get heart disease, which kills 200,000 Britons a year.

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