A multi-year study of more than 100,000 people by researchers in Taiwan found dental cleanings can be associated with a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

In fact, people with professionally cleaned teeth had a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack and 13 percent lower risk of stroke compared to those who’ve never had a dental cleaning. Professional tooth cleaning seems to reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth that can lead to heart disease.

“Protection from heart disease and stroke was more pronounced in participants who got tooth scaling at least once a year,” said Dr. Zu-Yin Chen, a cardiology fellow at Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, who presented the findings on Sunday at the American Heart Association scientific meeting in Orlando, Florida.