New research suggests cleaning your teeth can help you breathe easy, after adults with gum disease were five times more likely to develop asthma.
Researchers identified that, despite age, body mass index and smoking habits, people with gum disease were still at risk from developing asthma, a condition that claims 3 lives every day in the UK.
According to Asthma UK, 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma. The UK has some of the highest rates of asthma across Europe, a fact that could be linked to the UK’s attitudes towards oral health.
Figures from the Adult Dental Health Survey revealed that basic dental products that can reduce the chances of developing gum disease are not being used as part of an all-round routine. Only three in 10 (31%) people use mouthwash and less than one in four (22%) use floss.
The same data also showed 42 per cent of adults only use a toothbrush and toothpaste, with more than one in four (27 per cent) saying they use an electric brush. Furthermore, it also showed how less than one in four adults (24 per cent) do not know what level of fluoride their toothpaste should contain.
Oral health charity the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) estimates less than half of all adults have an acceptable oral hygiene routine.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: “Asthma is in a long line of health problems linked to gum disease which also includes heart problems, dementia, pregnancy complications and even pancreatic cancer.”
The study, published in the Journal of Periodontology, looked at 220 people – 113 of those had asthma and 107 did not. After being diagnosed with gum disease, researchers accounted for age, schooling level, osteoporosis, smoking habit and body mass index and still found the chances of adults with gum disease were approximately five times more likely to develop asthma than those without gum disease.