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Teeth Scaling May Reduce the Risk of Heart Problems

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Teeth Scaling May Reduce the Risk of Heart Problems

Hate having your teeth scaled? A new study shows that regular teeth scaling can decrease your risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular events.

For some of us, going to the dentist for annual or semi-annual cleanings is synonymous with torture. (Think Dustin Hoffman’s character in Marathon Man.) Depending on the skill of the hygienist and our own regularity at flossing, teeth scaling can be anguished torment. And the worst part is, we pay good money to be tortured!

But if you’re tempted to skip your cleaning, you might want to think again. A recent study has established an association between teeth scaling and a reduced risk of future cardiovascular problems.

For some time now, poor oral hygiene has been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. But until recently, the role preventive dentistry could play in maintaining heart health, hadn’t been determined.

Long-term study
Researchers studied 10,887 Taiwanese subjects who had regular tooth scaling at least once a year and compared them to 10,989 subjects who didn’t receive scaling. Subjects were matched for age, gender, and comorbidity (having a similar history of coronary artery disease, diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia).

Subjects were 50 years old or older and had received at least one tooth scaling in 2000. All subjects were then followed for an average of seven years.

Heart benefits of teeth scaling
Those who had their teeth scaled at least once a year had a lower incidence of

  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • total cardiovascular events

Those who had their teeth scaled more frequently had an even lower risk for all three categories.

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