Dental cleanings reduce heart attack risk

People who have their teeth scraped and cleaned had lowered their heart attack and stroke risk by 24 and 13 percent respectively, compared to those who never had a dental cleaning.

These findings are based on a Taiwanese study of a database of more than 100,000 people who underwent dental cleaning and were followed for an average of seven years.

Scientists considered tooth scaling frequent if it occurred at least twice or more in two years; occasional tooth scaling was once or less in two years.

`Protection from heart disease and stroke was more pronounced in participants who got tooth scaling at least once a year,` said Emily (Zu-Yin) Chen, cardiology fellow at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, who co-authored the study.

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Professional tooth scaling appears to reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth that can lead to heart disease or stroke, she said, according to a Veterans Hospital statement.

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