Mouth rinse might spot early heart disease risk, study says


Mouth rinse might spot early heart disease risk, study says

Researchers say in a new study that a simple mouth rinse could detect early signs of cardiovascular disease. Photo by Claude TRUONG-NGOC/Wikimedia Commons

Scientists from Canada said they have found a link between high white blood cells in the saliva of healthy adults and an early cardiovascular disease warning sign.

The research, led by Trevor King of Mount Royal University, was published Friday in the peer-reviewed health journal Frontiers in Oral Health.

The foundation of the study is that gum inflammation can lead to periodontitis, which is linked with cardiovascular disease, according to researchers.

King and his team used a simple oral rinse to see if levels of white blood cells, an indicator of gum inflammation, in the saliva of healthy adults, could be linked to warning signs for cardiovascular disease.

The scientists discovered that high levels correlated with compromised flow-mediated dilation were an early indicator of poor arterial health.

“Even in young healthy adults, low levels of oral inflammatory load may have an impact on cardiovascular health, one of the leading causes of death in North America,” King said.

Researchers believe that periodontitis, a common infection of the gums, has previously been linked to the development of cardiovascular disease. Scientists believe that inflammatory factors may get into the bloodstream through the gums and damage the vascular system.

The scientists concentrated on examining healthy young people to determine whether lower levels of oral inflammation can be relevant to cardiovascular health.

“We are starting to see more relationships between oral health and risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Ker-Yung Hong, first author of the study, now studying dentistry at the University of Western Ontario.

“If we are seeing that oral health may have an impact on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease even in young healthy individuals, this holistic approach can be implemented earlier on.”

The researchers used what is called pulse-wave velocity to measure the stiffness of the arteries. Stiff and poorly functioning arteries raise patients’ risk of cardiovascular disease.

The scientists recruited 28 non-smokers between ages 18 and 30 with no comorbidities or medications that could affect cardiovascular risk. They were asked to fast for six hours, except for drinking water, before visiting the lab.

The volunteers then rinsed their mouths with water before rinsing their mouths with saline which was collected for analysis. The volunteers then laid down for 10 minutes for an electrocardiogram. Then they were tested for blood pressure, flow-mediated dilation and pulse-wave velocity.

“The mouth rinse test could be used at your annual checkup at the family doctor or the dentist,” said Michael Glogauer, from the dental faculty of the University of Toronto and a co-author of the study. “It is easy to implement as an oral inflammation measuring tool in any clinic.”

The team learned that high white blood cells in saliva had a significant relationship to poor flow-mediated dilation, suggesting an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Optimal oral hygiene is always recommended in addition to regular visits to the dentist, especially in light of this evidence,” King said. “This study was a pilot study. We are hoping to increase the study population and explore those results.

“We are also hoping to include more individuals with gingivitis and more advanced periodontitis to more deeply understand the impact of different levels of gingival inflammation on cardiovascular measures.”


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.