Brushing teeth twice a day reduces risk for heart disease

August 1, 2010

People who brush their teeth twice daily may be up to 70% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people with poorer oral hygiene, according to a new survey.

People who brush their teeth twice daily may be up to 70% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people with poorer oral hygiene, according to the results of a national population-based Scottish Health Survey.

The study confirms and strengthens the suggested association between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease. Researchers included data on almost 12,000 men and women (mean age, 50 years).

After adjusting for age, sex, social class, obesity, smoking, and family history of heart disease, investigators found that those people who reported brushing their teeth once daily or less were 70% more likely to experience a cardiovascular disease event (hazard ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3 to 2.3; P<.001) than those who reported brushing twice daily, although the overall risk remained quite low.

de Oliveira C, Watt R, Hamer M. Toothbrushing, inflammation, and risk of cardiovascular disease: results from Scottish Health Survey. BMJ. 2010;340:c2451.