Dental cleaning could cut heart/stroke risks

Dental cleaning could cut heart/stroke risks

Want to reduce your chance of a heart attack or stroke? Get those dental cleanings, new research suggests.

A large Taiwan study found patients who had their teeth professional scraped and cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist had a 24 percent lower risk of a heart attack and a 13 percent lower risk of stroke over seven years, compared to those who didn’t have professional cleanings, according to the American Heart Association.

There were more than 100,000 people in the study, and researchers considered tooth scaling frequent when it was done a minimum of twice or more in two years.

There were more than 51,000 adults in the study who had at least one full or partial tooth scaling, and a similar number who had no cleaning.

Professional tooth scaling appears to reduce bacterial growth that causes inflammation that could lead to heart attack or stroke, Dr. Emily (Zu-Yin) Chen, study co-author and cardiology fellow at Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, said.

The study was presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions in Orlando.

Source: American Heart Association news release

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