Look after your teeth and gums - for lots of reasons

Poor oral hygiene has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Photograph: Getty

Poor oral hygiene has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Photograph: Getty

Mon, Sep 16, 2013, 01:00

Brushing your teeth and taking care of your gums can help avoid stinky breath and make your smile look even better, but did you know that poor oral hygiene has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease?

The jury is still out on whether it’s a causal link - maybe people with poor oral hygiene are more likely to have other behaviours that affect heart health. But there are potential links between poor hygiene and other conditions too, as outlined here on the Mayo Clinic website. So perhaps when you brush your teeth, you could be protecting more than just your smile.