Want to keep your heart healthy? Don’t forget to brush and floss daily

toothbrush using tips

One of the cheapest and effective ways to keep your heart healthy is by brushing and flossing them regularly. No, we aren’t saying it because we want to preach good hygiene habits but a recent study claims that maintaining good oral hygiene is the key to maintain good heart health. Researchers say those who have healthier gums and little tooth decay have lower blood pressure and benefit more from their hypertension medications.

It is seen that patients with hypertension and inflamed gums are 20 per cent less likely to have their blood pressure in a healthy range compared to patients with no signs of periodontal disease. The team, from the University of L’Aquila in Italy, says the findings show those with gum disease might need to have their blood pressure monitored more regularly and those with hypertension may benefit from routine dental care.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when the force of the blood flowing through your blood vessels is always high. It is estimated that one in three US adults, the equivalent of 75 million Americans, have high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart attacks, kidney disease and strokes. Hypertension is known as a ‘silent killer’ because most Americans with the condition do not know they have it.  It is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the number one killer in every country including the US.

If the data has to be believed then according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 54 per cent have their high blood pressure under control from medication, exercise, diet or a combination. For the study, the team looked at the records of more than 11,700 Americans who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 2009 and 2014 and were checked for periodontal disease. Almost 4,100 people were diagnosed with hypertension. About 88 per cent were taking medication to treat the condition and around 11 per cent were not.

The researchers found that people who had periodontal disease were 20 per cent less likely to fall in healthy blood pressure ranges compared to those with good oral health. Additionally, patients with untreated hypertension but no gum disease had blood pressure readings similar to those on medication for hypertension but with gum disease. This means that poor oral health nullified the benefits of medication for high blood pressure.