Brush Your Teeth, Live Longer

by ProfKeith

Those of you who have read my book “Virtual Medicine” (if you haven’t, why not!), will have been surprised by my report that teeth can kill. It began as dental infections lodging bacteria in the heart and causing fatal widespread septicemia in the days before antibiotics. But 100 years later, by the end of the 20th Century, it had come around again despite antibiotics, that significant gum disease (periodontal disease) was a major risk factor for death by heart attack.

Now a brand new study (May 27, 2010) has re-inforced what I said. Teeth and gum infections are deadly. Consider this a minor installment on my anti-aging “outside the box” report which is coming up any day now.

Researchers in the UK analyzed data from over 11,000 people who were taking part in a study called the Scottish Health Survey. Patients were asked whether they visited a dentist at least once every six months, every one to two years, rarely, or never. They were also asked how often they brushed their teeth — twice daily, once a day, or less than every day.

The researchers found that 62% of participants said they went to a dentist every six months, 71% said they brushed their teeth twice a day.

After adjusting the data for cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, smoking, social class, and family heart disease history, the researchers found that people who admitted to brushing their teeth less frequently had a 70% extra risk of heart disease.

What’s more, people who reported poor oral hygiene also tested positive for important inflammatory markers such as fibrinogen and C-reactive protein, which themselves are predictors of early death. In other words, if you slouch on cleaning your teeth, you are very significantly more likely to die young. It may seem incredible but the pathways are clear, well demonstrated and the backup science is pretty well irrefutable.

Do you need me to tell you what to do? I think not.

[The study is published in the journal BMJ, published online May 27, 2010].

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{ 2 comments }

Mack Fondren August 1, 2010 at 11:58 am

Dr. Keith ! – This is some scary stuff ! I purchased your Anti-Aging ebook and have listened to most of your radio recordings – most of the subjects dealt with are longer term issues – I am using your recommendations and expect to benefit greatly from them.
THIS issue though, well ….. I am 61 and have serious dental issues – amalgams, root canals, lack of proper care – and can not afford at this time to have the dental work done that would eliminate many of the problems
From my point of view ….. I could make a great many of the changes you recommend, experience positive changes …… and drop dead in the next 90 days ! Don’t want to sound hysterical here but of all the issues I have heard you address, this one is the most life threatening, in the short term, of any of them – by a wide margin !
I have scoured the net and a number of people are echoing your comments about dental health, but as far as I can tell, none of them are addressing the issue of how to treat it, short of very expensive dental work.
I would appreciate, more than you can know, a ” Keith Scott-Mumby ”
article or e-book addressing this issue.
And lest I forget ….. thanks so much for your contributions to my knowledge
of how to live healthier and happier – you are one of the very view I trust and heed explicitly !

Dr. Keith August 1, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Dear Mack,
You refer to something that troubles a lot of people. You don’t say where you live, so I’ll guess USA (Americans don’t think of the rest of the world being out there!!) That being the case, of course advice would be different.
If you are anywhere near the Border, or can afford to travel at least, consider Mexico. Dentistry there is about 40% cheaper.
The major issue is infection and root canal fillings. Have you had an evaluation from a holistic dentist?
Ozone could be good for the infections. The mercury simply has to go. But if you can find a local practitioner, you could do it one tooth at a time, as funds permit. Get in touch with DAMS (http://www.dams.cc/)
Also you can hear me interview Leo Cashman, editor of “Dental Truth” by going here:
http://www.AskDoctorKeith.com/dental.htm

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