Brush your teeth not twice, but thrice a day: Experts say it may help cut heart failure risk by 12%

Poor oral hygiene leads to bacteria in the blood, causing inflammation in the body

Agencies
Inflammation increases the risks of atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat, and heart failure -- a condition where the heart's ability to pump blood or relax.
SEOUL: Brushing teeth three or more times a day may be associated with a lower risk of irregular heartbeat and heart failure, according to a study carried out in South Korea.

Previous studies suggest that poor oral hygiene leads to bacteria in the blood, causing inflammation in the body, the researchers said.

Inflammation increases the risks of atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat, and heart failure -- a condition where the heart's ability to pump blood or relax, and fill with blood is impaired, they said.


The latest study, published on Monday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, examined the connection between oral hygiene and occurrence of these two conditions.

The research enrolled 161,286 participants of the Korean National Health Insurance System aged 40 to 79 with no history of atrial fibrillation or heart failure.

Participants underwent a routine medical examination between 2003 and 2004.
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Information was collected on height, weight, laboratory tests, illnesses, lifestyle, oral health, and oral hygiene behaviours.

Cut Down On Salt, Drink Fluids: Simple Diet Tips To Avoid Chronic Heart Failure
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Cardiac or heart failure is a clinical condition in which the heart loses the ability to eject blood to meet the requirements of the tissues of the body. Irrespective of the cause, nutritional concerns need to be addressed in this condition in order to prevent morbidity and mortality. Patients with chronic heart failure are at constant risk of losing weight due to the medical condition and also low dietary intake which is due poor appetite, depression or loss of appetite due to consumption of drugs.

Dietary interventions to maintain and restore the nutritional balance are essential part of treatment therapy. These include a suitable change in calorie intake, reduction in sodium and fluid intake, maintenance of potassium and magnesium in the body, and appropriate supplementation with vitamins and minerals.

Here are some simple tips by Dr Ritika Samaddar, Chief Nutritionist at Max Hospital, Saket.

Cardiac or heart failure is a clinical condition in which the heart loses the ability to eject blood to meet the requirements of the tissues of the body. Irrespective of the cause, nutritional concer..
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Obese patients are encouraged to lose weight to minimize cardiac workload. On the other hand, in the malnourished patients with chronic heart failure, the calorie intake has to be increased to match the requirement.

Obese patients are encouraged to lose weight to minimize cardiac workload. On the other hand, in the malnourished patients with chronic heart failure, the calorie intake has to be increased to match ..
Read More

In patients with heart failure, a reduction in salt intake brings about a significant improvement. Mostly, the limit is set at 2-3 gm of salt per day. This requires a control on the intake of sodium rich foods, and restricted use of table salt.

In patients with heart failure, a reduction in salt intake brings about a significant improvement. Mostly, the limit is set at 2-3 gm of salt per day. This requires a control on the intake of sodium ..
Read More

Most diuretics increase the excretion of potassium and magnesium leading to depletion of minerals in the body. A diet high in potassium and magnesium-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables is encouraged and also the use of supplements.

Most diuretics increase the excretion of potassium and magnesium leading to depletion of minerals in the body. A diet high in potassium and magnesium-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables is en..
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In patients with a severe fluid overload, those requiring high doses of diuretic, or those taken to excessive fluid intake, the total daily water and fluid intake should be limited in the range of 500 to 2000 ml daily.

In patients with a severe fluid overload, those requiring high doses of diuretic, or those taken to excessive fluid intake, the total daily water and fluid intake should be limited in the range of 50..
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During a follow-up of 10.5 years, 4,911 (3 per cent) participants developed atrial fibrillation and 7,971 (4.9 per cent) developed heart failure.

Tooth brushing three or more times a day was associated with a 10 per cent lower risk of atrial fibrillation and a 12 per cent reduced risk of heart failure during the same time, the study found.
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Senior author Tae-Jin Song, from the Ewha Woman's University in South Korea, noted that the analysis was limited to one country, and as an observational study does not prove causation.

"We studied a large group over a long period, which adds strength to our findings," he said.
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The findings were independent of a number of factors including age, sex, socioeconomic status, regular exercise, alcohol consumption, body mass index, and disorders such as hypertension, the researchers noted.

While the study did not investigate mechanisms, one possibility is that frequent tooth brushing reduces bacteria in the subgingival biofilm -- bacteria living in the pocket between the teeth and gums -- thereby preventing translocation to the bloodstream.
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