Canadian Scientists Discover Link Between Gum Health and Cardiovascular Diseases
August 18, 2023 – Canadian scientists from Mount Royal University have recently conducted an experimental study suggesting a link between gum health and cardiovascular diseases. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Oral Health, discovered that the risk for later cardiovascular diseases can be identified before the onset of gum disease itself.
While a possible connection between periodontitis and cardiovascular diseases is not entirely new, this study introduces the notion that the risk of such diseases can be measured even before the occurrence of gum disease. The researchers found a correlation between high levels of white blood cells in the mouth and an impairment known as flow-mediated vasodilation, which serves as an early indicator of poor artery health.
Trevor King, one of the authors of the study, emphasized the impact of oral inflammation on cardiovascular health, stating, “Even in young, healthy adults, a low level of oral inflammation can impact cardiovascular health – a leading cause of death in North America.” This discovery emphasizes the importance of maintaining good oral health to prevent serious heart-related conditions.
The scientists hypothesize that inflammation from the mouth invades the vasculature, impairing the arteries’ ability to produce nitric oxide, which is crucial for responding to changes in blood flow. Higher concentrations of white blood cells in the mouth may lead to more significant vascular dysfunction.
To explore the practical implications of their findings, the researchers conducted a mouthwash test on healthy individuals, who rinsed a saline solution in their mouth. This test served as a gauge of oral inflammation and its potential impact on cardiovascular health. Michael Glogauer, a co-author of the study from the University of Toronto, suggests that the mouthwash test could be easily incorporated into regular check-ups with family doctors or dentists.
However, it’s important to note that this work is still in its preliminary stages, with only 28 subjects participating in the pilot study. The scientists are hopeful to conduct more extensive research in the future to further explore the relationship between gum health and cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases remain a significant cause of death worldwide, and this study sheds new light on an avenue for early detection and prevention. Regular dental check-ups and maintaining good oral health practices may prove to be essential in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Further studies on a larger scale are necessary to validate these initial findings and provide a solid foundation for potential future interventions.]
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