Researchers from Sweden have made a link between tooth loss and an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
The study looked at 15,828 people with chronic coronary heart disease and cross referenced their details with dental records.
Some 40 per cent were found to have less than 15 remaining teeth, 16 per cent had no teeth at all and one in four said they regularly suffered from bleeding gums.
In each case of a person having less teeth, they were found to have a higher level of an enzyme which hardens the arteries in their system.
Previous research has suggested that poor dental hygiene increases the risk of cardiovascular issues because it allows as many as 700 different types of bacteria to enter the blood stream.
Professor Robin Seymour , a member of the Simplyhealth Advisory Research Panel (ShARP), said: "What is clear is that people can reduce their risk of periodontal disease by regularly visiting the dentist."
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