Scientists from Mount Royal University (MRU) have found that biomarkers of inflammation in human saliva can be used to assess cardiovascular risk. The research was published in the journal Limits in Oral Health.
In the study, doctors took saliva samples from 28 non-smokers, ages 18 to 30. They did not have cardiovascular disease and were not taking medications that could affect their risk. They were asked to rinse the growth with water followed by a saline solution. Participants then lay down for 20 minutes during which time they were subjected to electrocardiograms, blood pressure, and other cardiovascular health indicators.
The researchers found that high white blood cell counts, indicative of gingivitis, were associated with worse arterial health (such as increased atherosclerosis) in the participants. The findings support previous studies showing that gingivitis (periodontitis) increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The authors of the new study suggested that inflammatory factors can enter the bloodstream through the gums and damage the vascular system.
“In addition to regular dentist visits, optimal oral hygiene is always recommended, especially in light of these findings. However, this study was pilot. We hope to increase the number of study participants and validate these results. We also hope to further understand the impact of different levels of gingivitis on the cardiovascular system in order to better understand the impact of gingivitis on the cardiovascular system. We hope to include more people with inflammation and later stages of periodontitis.
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