Neglecting to brush your teeth at night before going to bed may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, researchers have discovered.
The study was conducted over several years and among over 1,500 participants, and it discovered that individuals who skipped brushing their teeth at night had a higher chance of developing diseases such as tonsillitis (angina), heart failure, or even heart attacks.
The study, conducted at Osaka University Hospital in Japan, analyzed 1,675 people aged 20 and over who visited the hospital between April 2013 and March 2016 for examinations, surgeries, or treatments.
How does not brushing your teeth at night lead to heart failure?
The participants were divided into four groups based on their oral hygiene habits: those who brushed their teeth twice a day (morning and night), those who only brushed in the morning, and participants who did not follow any oral hygiene practices.
The researchers also evaluated data such as age, sex, smoking history, and dental or medical history. The team specifically examined patients who were hospitalized due to heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, or aortic diseases requiring surgery.
The results revealed that individuals who only brushed their teeth in the morning and did not smoke experienced worse symptoms and had a higher risk of heart and blood vessel diseases. Conversely, those who brushed their teeth twice a day—in the morning and at night—had higher survival rates.
Smokers, however, were found to be at the highest risk level. The authors of the study, published in Nature's Scientific Reports, stated, "The findings clearly indicate that brushing in the morning after waking up is insufficient and that brushing at night is effective for maintaining good health."
The researchers further explained, "Although our findings are limited in relation to cardiovascular disease and cannot be applied to healthy participants, they suggest that brushing your teeth at night is important. While brushing your teeth before breakfast is necessary to avoid disease, the most crucial aspect is brushing your teeth at night before going to bed."
According to experts, bacteria lingering in the mouth are to blame for these diseases, which can lead to serious problems.