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Tooth brushing habits linked to a healthy heart

Forgetting to brush your teeth not only leads to stinky breath, there's a good chance it might also lead to heart disease.

That's the finding of a new study that looked at how toothbrushing practices affect the heart. It found that people who don't brush their teeth too often are more at risk of heart disease than counterparts who make it a point to brush twice a day.

The study comes from Scotland and was published this week in the British Medical Journal.

While a lot of research has emerged in the last 20 years noting a link between heart problems and gum disease, this is the first large study to investigate whether dental health specifically relates to heart health.

The study authors, led by Prof. Richard Watt from University College London, analyzed data from&more than 11,000 adults who took part in the Scottish Healthy Survey, which is an ongoing survey offering a detailed picture of the health of the Scottish population.

The authors of this study tracked the volunteers' medical history, family records of disease and lifestyle.

They also looked at blood samples taken from the volunteers. The samples enabled the researchers to determine levels of C reactive protein, which is a biomarker of inflammation in the body, and fibrinogen, a marker of coagulation. The researchers then matched up the data to hospital admissions and deaths until December 2007.
 
 

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