Please tell me how often you brush your teeth….

Most of us know that brushing our teeth should be at least a twice a day ritual.  However, recent studies have shown an increase in heart disease in people who do not practice good oral hygiene.

It came as a surprise to me to find that some people never brush their teeth.  Others brush their teeth, but only once per day.  Some once-a-dayers only brushed in the morning, while others only brushed at night.


The studies showed that those who brush their teeth twice daily had the best protection against cardiovascular disease.  Those who brushed once a day but at night had the next best protection.  Those who only brushed once in the morning did hardly better than those who did not brush at all.

One half a million people were evaluated and those who rarely brushed their teeth had:

  • 12% higher risk of cardiovascular disease
  • 8% higher risk of stroke
  • 18% higher risk of cerebral hemorrhage
  • 15% increase in myocardial infarction
  • 22% increase in pulmonary heart disease
  • 9% increase in cancer
  • 12% increase of COPD
  • 25% Liver cirrhosis

In this study 18,158 people who did not brush their teeth regularly showed that they suffered 50.24% chance of chronic disease, including cardiocascular disease at 40.2%

You may be asking what is the correlation between poor dental health and chronic disease.  The hypothesis is that the bacteria in the mouth affects the bacteria in the gut, causing the people to be more susceptible to sickness and disease.

The takeaways are:

  • Brushing two or more times a day is the best defense against chronic disease
  • If you only brush once, make sure you brush at night.

Until next time,


Dr. Polly