Study: brushing your teeth could protect against heart disease

Regular brushing of teeth is not only important in order to avoid tooth decay or periodontal disease – it is also the heart could protect.

A study in South Korea suggests at the very least, the results of which were published in the scientific journal ‘European Journal of Preventive Cardiology’.

Therefore, people who brush their teeth at least three times a day insufficiency, a lower risk for heart rhythm disorders and Heart.

At no other place of our body is more bacteria than in the oral cavity. The tooth is neglected, cleaning, these are no longer kept in check.

In the result of inflammation may arise, relating to first of all teeth and gums and then through the nerve paths and blood vessels migrate into the body.

Dental hygiene and diseases

The connection between dental hygiene and a number of diseases have already been known for some time – for example, in the case of lung and heart inflammation, erectile dysfunction, heart attacks and strokes.

A further possible connection resulted in the study of South Korea’s Ewha women’s University.

The Team of Tae-Jin Song used for the analysis of the database of the National Health Insurance System and then selected 161.286 participants between 40 and 79 years of age, whose medical history there is no heart included problems.

In the case of an investigation, data were size, weight, laboratory values, diseases, Lifestyle, oral health and oral hygiene behaviour of these people is recorded.

On average, a decade later, the investigation was repeated. Had the time of 4911 participants (3 percent) developed atrial fibrillation – a heart rhythm disorder, and 7971 (4.9 percent) of heart failure.

Professional dental cleanings positive

Striking was that those participants who brushed three times or more often during the day, the teeth, had a ten percent lower risk for atrial fibrillation and a twelve percent reduced risk for heart failure than those with poor oral hygiene.

Periodic professional dental cleanings had a positive impact. These results were independent of factors such as age, gender, socio-economic Status, regular exercise, alcohol consumption, Body Mass Index and other factors such as high blood pressure.

How could it come into existence, does not reply to the investigation. The researchers suggest that regular brushing your teeth, bacteria in the hard-to-reach pockets between the gum and the teeth is reduced and thus prevents them from entering the bloodstream.

The Song acknowledges that the analysis is based only on data from a single country and as a pure observational study cannot point to any causes, but also emphasizes: “We have investigated a large group over a long period of time, which strengthens our results.”

A strength of the study that the two doctors Pascal Meyre from the University hospital Basel and David Conen from the canadian McMaster University lift in an accompanying comment shows.

Social factors are not taken into account

Meyre and Conen note, however, that factors such as education level and marital status not queried and were taken into account, although this effect is detectable on the oral hygiene.

In addition, the details of the teeth based brush on statements of the participants themselves, what is meant is always a certain possibility of Error. “It is certainly too early to recommend brushing your teeth for the prevention of atrial fibrillation and heart failure”, conclude the two doctors. First, further analyses were necessary.


  • Chang, Y. et al. (2019): Improved oral hygiene care is associated with decreased risk of occurrence for atrial fibrillation and heart failure: A nationwide population-based cohort study, archived from the original on 03.12.2019.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)

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