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Study: Forgetting to brush your teeth can increase your risk of heart attacks

Study: Forgetting to brush your teeth can increase your risk of heart attacks

Did you brush your teeth before going to bed last night? 

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer today. It claims 17.9 million lives a year, of which 85% are due to heart disease and stroke.

In Malaysia, heart disease is the number one cause of death with the total number of deaths standing at 13,503 or 13.9% last year (2018).

So, you might wanna rethink your unhealthy habit of forgetting to brush your teeth before bed because poor dental health could increase your risk of heart attacks!

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In fact, studies have shown that tooth loss patterns are connected to coronary artery disease, while gum disease (periodontitis) is associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease.

Poor dental health has also been shown to increase the risk of bacterial infection in the bloodstream

Once bacteria enter the bloodstream, it is capable of releasing clot causing toxins, stir up inflammation in walls of blood vessels or affect heart valves.

Picture credit: MEME

Hence, for patients of Infective Endocarditis (IE) who have artificial heart valves, oral health can be especially important.

IE, an uncommon affliction, is a life-threatening inflammation of the heart muscle lining and its valves.

The condition causes significant morbidity and mortality in both children and adults, and bacterial infection of the artificial valves can lead to them being damaged and increase the likelihood of death.

Picture credit: Imgflip

Dr Siva Rao, the head of Paediatric Cardiology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, discussed the link between dental health and cardiovascular health via a press release in conjunction with World Heart Day. 

His department is attempting to increase awareness of cardiovascular health, especially for children with congenital heart disease.

He is encouraging parents of kids with congenital heart disease to live a lifestyle that is healthier for the heart.

This includes eating more fruit and vegetables, having good dental hygiene, living a more active lifestyle, and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol.

So, reduce your risk of heart disease by brushing your teeth at least twice a day starting today!

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