Researchers from University of California may have discovered reasons to motivate women to receive regular dental care. They found women who receive dental care regularly can reduce risks of cardiovascular problems, including stroke and heart attack by up to 33 percent.
This study analyzed nearly 7,000 people between the ages of 44 and 88 who participated in a Health and Retirement Study. Data collection took place every two years between 1996 and 2004. The main comparison was whether or not an individual visited a dentist in the previous two years, and the study was published in an online journal called Health Economics.
Previous studies have explained dental benefits as preventing certain cardiovascular diseases, but this study is the first of its kind to actually prove a decreased risk in both stroke and heart attack.
The study asked questions about frequency of dental visits and any potential cardiovascular problems an individual may have experienced. The study did include risk factors such as body mass index, blood pressure, and alcohol or tobacco use.
Women noticed greater benefits from maintaining proper dental care than men. Researchers believe this finding may be due to how cardiovascular disease develops differently in men and women.
Oral health experts suggest visiting the dentist at least two times per year and to brush and floss teeth a minimum of two times per day. Denture-wearers should perform proper cleaning to prevent buildup of bacteria or plaque.