When it comes to family dental care in Lakewood, CO, our team at Advanced Family Dental has frequently worked to inform patients about the potential links between gum disease and a variety of serious health conditions that include heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. Now, a new study reporting the results of a randomized pilot trail discovered a plaque-identifying toothpaste can possibly reduce the levels of systemic inflammation simply by improving how well an individual brushes.
Decades worth of research has examined what potentially links poor oral hygiene to a list of serious systemic diseases. Some researchers have suggested this link in not simply causal, but rather indicates the presence of lifestyle factors that can lead to an increased risk of general disease. So, rather than gum disease acting as an agent that works to cause the development of other diseases, gum disease is actually just a warning sign of poor health and hygiene behaviors.
Not a Case of Cause and Effect?
One of the potential mechanisms of gum disease that could contribute to the development of heart disease is inflammation. Inflammation acts as the central mechanism behind many of the most prevalent diseases that patients develop. An effective biomarker of systemic inflammation in patients is elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), and high CRP levels have been flagged as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Additional research has also clearly demonstrated gum disease as a contributing factor to increased CRP levels.
Combine all of this together and you can easily develop a hypothetical mechanism through which gum disease can be linked to overall health through an elevation in systemic inflammation.
This latest study, published in The American Journal of Medicine, further examined what impact a specific plaque-identifying toothpaste had on lowering CRP levels, when compared to regular toothpaste. The maker of the toothpaste claims PlaqueHD is twice as effective at removing plaque as conventional toothpaste, making the product potentially more useful at helping patient keep teeth clean and lowering CRP levels.
To examine the manufacturer’s claims, researchers recruited around 100 test subjects they randomized into two groups. One group used the PlaqueHD toothpaste for 30 days, while the other group used a normal toothpaste for the same period of time. The CRP levels of participants were measured both at the beginning and end of the 30-day trial period.
The study found some interesting results that show statistically significant decreases in CRP levels in the PlaqueHD group compared to the placebo, only in subjects displaying elevated CRP levels at the start. This suggest that by doing a better job of brushing daily, patients can successfully lower their CRP levels, but only if they already have high levels of systemic inflammation.
In essence, this study reinforces a simple concept. Patients with early stage gum disease, or gingivitis, can help to improve their oral health and reduce inflammation by practicing better oral hygiene at home.
Even though researchers examined their study through the lens of having participants brush with a specific brand of toothpaste, researchers believe their study validates the idea that brushing, even with a normal brand of toothpaste, can play an important role in lowering the risk of inflammation and in healing gums already affected by gingivitis.
Protecting Your Oral Health
Family dental care in Lakewood, CO doesn’t start when patients visit our office. It starts at home, and it’s a process that must carry day after day.
Protecting your body from inflammation requires lowering your risk for the development of inflammation. By brushing at least twice a day, and flossing daily, you work to eliminate the buildup of harmful bacteria in the mouth that directly contributes to the development of gum disease and systemic inflammation throughout the body.
As further research explores the mouth/body connection, one thing becomes repeated clear – our oral health matters. Don’t neglect your oral health. Schedule your next exam and cleaning with our team at Advanced Family dental, and feel confident knowing your family dental care in Lakewood, CO is in good hands.