A study from Taiwan has found that individuals who had their teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist had a 24 percent lower chance of having a heart attack and 13 percent diminished risk of stroke than those who have never been to a dental professional. The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011, and highlights the importance of providing people with access to proper oral care.
"Protection from heart disease and stroke was more pronounced in participants who got tooth scaling [cleaning] at least once a year," said Emily (Zu-Yin) Chen, M.D., cardiology fellow at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan.
The reason behind this phenomenon is that professional tooth cleaning reduces the amount of inflammation-causing bacteria in the body, which can lead to stroke and heart disease if left untreated.
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute reports that 1.2 million Americans have heart attacks each year. Going to the dentist could be a simple way to reduce an individual's risk of experiencing this potentially life-threatening condition.
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© 2011 Brafton Inc.
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