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Skipping nighttime toothbrushing may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease: Study

The findings from this study are important because they show that oral hygiene can have an effect on overall health.

Edited By: Health Desk New Delhi Published on: July 04, 2023 13:19 IST
Brushing teeth at night
Image Source : FREEPIK A study has found that skipping nighttime toothbrushing may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Not brushing your teeth at night may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease according to a recent study published in Nature Journal's Scientific Reports. The study followed nearly 1,675 individuals aged 20 years and above. It has been found that those who failed to brush their teeth at night are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease (CVDs).

This research is part of a larger effort to better understand the link between oral hygiene and general health. Studies have long shown that good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral health issues. However, this study puts a new spin on things by showing that poor oral hygiene can also be linked to serious health problems elsewhere in the body.

According to the Nature Journal's Scientific Reports, the participants included in the study were hospitalised at the Osaka University Hospital in Japan between April 2013 and March 2016 for surgery, examination, or treatment. During that period, those who visited the hospital's Unit of Dentistry to seek perioperative oral care and dental treatment were also considered for the analysis. All 1,675 participants were divided into four groups. Group MN had 409 participants those who were brushing their teeth twice daily, in the morning and night, Group Night had 751 participants who reported brushing their teeth only at night, Group M had 164 participants who reported brushing their teeth only once after waking up in the morning and Group None had 259 participants who did not brush their teeth at all. 

So how does not brushing your teeth at night increase the risk of cardiovascular disease? 

The researchers believe that the bacteria in the mouth can be linked to inflammation throughout the body. When plaque and tartar build-up, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. As they move through the body, they trigger an inflammatory response which can lead to serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease.

The research also indicates that brushing your teeth twice a day is not enough. Brushing only once at night can still increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. This is because plaque tends to accumulate during the day and needs to be properly removed in order to reduce the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream.

The good news is that proper oral hygiene is relatively easy to maintain and can help reduce your risk for serious health problems like cardiovascular disease. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing once a day can also help remove plaque and bacteria that have built up during the day.

The findings from this study are important because they show that oral hygiene can have an effect on overall health. While maintaining good oral hygiene is important for avoiding cavities and gum disease, it can also play an important role in preventing serious health problems like cardiovascular disease. 

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