Friday, 21 October 2016

Brushing you teeth may help to reduce heart disease

brush teeth

Scientists in the US has been conducted a study to see if a type of toothpaste called Plaque HD, which highlights plaque on the teeth could improve health.

The toothpaste reduces dental plaque - a sticky coating of bacteria which forms on the teeth - but can also reduce inflammation in the body, which causes a range of illnesses.

Researchers have previously suggested a link between healthy teeth and gums, and inflammatory diseases.

Experts measured inflammation using high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a marker which could determine if someone is at risk of future heart attacks and strokes.

The Florida Atlantic University study, led by Professor Dr Charles Hennekens, gave participants the same instructions on how to brush their teeth. They also gave the participants a 60-day supply of Plaque HD or a ‘normal' toothpaste.

Researchers found that people using the special toothpaste were able to remove twice as much plaque than those using a normal toothpaste.

Their levels of inflammation also fell by 29 per cent, according to a report in the Telegraph.

Statins, medicine that can help lower the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood, lower inflammation by around 37 per cent.

Experts have said Plaque HD is first toothpaste that reveals plaque so that it can be removed with directed brushing.

The formulation also contains cleaning agents that weaken the structure of the plaque and help to keep the teeth free from bacteria.

Dental plaque was identified by using a fluorescein mouth rinse and intraoral photographs were taken under black light imaging.

Professor Dr Charles Hennekens said: "While the findings on reducing dental plaque extend a previous observation, the findings on decreasing inflammation are new and novel."

His research from 1997 was the first to demonstrate that hs-CRP predicted future heart attacks and strokes.

Experts said future research will examine whether Plaque HD reduces risks of heart attacks and strokes.

The study was published in the American Journal of Medicine.

In the accompanying editorial titled Can a Toothpaste Reduce Heart Attacks and Strokes, cardiologist Dr Joseph Alpert noted the importance and timeliness of these findings.

He added how his father, a dentist, had told him even before he went to medical school, that dental health may affect heart attacks and strokes.

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