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Brush for lower blood pressure

Dentist Lucy Stock of Gentle Dental Care highlights new research linking the development of hypertension with poor dental hygiene habits

A South Korean study suggests hypertension may be linked to poor teeth cleaning habits
Lucy Stock

YET another reason has surfaced to keep those pearly whites sparkling: normally, you would be advised to cut down on how much salt you take, lose weight and be encouraged to exercise more in order to keep your blood pressure under control. However, as of now the humble toothbrush has been added to our armamentarium to ward off the potentially serious consequences of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, puts extra strain on your heart and blood vessels.

Over time, this extra strain actually increases the size of your heart abnormally which means that you are more at risk of a heart attack or stroke. The same process also affects the kidneys and brain.

In the long term this can stop the kidneys from working properly and bring on dementia.

It's not only the main organs that are affected. Your eyes and limbs are also a target leading to sight and mobility problems.

A recent South Korean study has suggested that the likelihood of developing hypertension may be linked to poor teeth cleaning habits.

The study found that people with better hygiene had lower blood pressure. Moreover, the findings suggest that gum disease and blood pressure may be linked.

One idea is that the inflammation caused by gum disease may lead to blood pressure levels going up. So by getting any gum disease under control with more effective cleaning habits it may be helpful in controlling changes in blood pressure.

This is just the start point for research and more studies need to be undertaken.

When thinking about improving our cleaning habits we first need to be aware that if you can see any soft white plaque on your teeth, then the teeth are not clean enough.

Teeth need to be brushed twice a day, every day with a fluoride toothpaste as well as being cleaned regularly at the dentists.

Even twice daily brushing is just the basics in a proper cleaning routine. Just try cleaning in between your teeth with a tooth pick, you will probably find that a lot of food debris will come out.

It's these tiny food particles that feed the bacteria which in turn cause gum disease. So by cleaning in between the teeth with floss, teepee brushes or dental woodsticks, gum disease can be kept at bay.

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