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Reduced risk of diabetes from brushing your teeth?
Brushing teeth three or more times a day is associated with an increased protective effect against diabetes. Dental diseases and missing teeth, on the other hand, increase the risk of developing diabetes.
A recent study by Seoul Hospital and Ewha Womans University College of Medicine found that brushing your teeth three times a day reduced your risk of diabetes. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) "Diabetologia".
How our oral hygiene affects the risk of diabetes
Brushing our teeth three or more times a day is associated with an eight percent lower risk of developing diabetes. If, on the other hand, there is a dental disease, the risk of diabetes is increased by nine percent. If a person lacks many teeth (15 or more), this increases the risk of diabetes by as much as 21 percent.
Connection Between Inflammation And Diabetes?
Inflammation plays an important role in the development of diabetes. So-called periodontal diseases are unfortunately widespread in the general population. Since periodontal disease and poor oral hygiene can cause temporary infections and systemic inflammation, the researchers hypothesized that indicators of periodontal disease and oral hygiene could be linked to the occurrence of new diabetes.
Every sixth person suffered from periodontal disease
The study found that 17.5 percent (approximately one in six) of the participants had periodontal disease. After a mean follow-up period of ten years, diabetes developed in 31,545 people (16 percent). Using computer models and adjusting possible influencing factors, the presence of periodontal disease and the lack of teeth (15 or more) have been associated with a 9 percent and 21 percent increase in the risk of developing diabetes.
Different effects through age?
Frequent brushing of teeth (three times a day or more) has been associated with an eight percent reduced risk of diabetes. Further analyzes showed different results for adults aged up to 51 years compared to participants aged 52 years and over. In the younger group, brushing teeth twice a day was associated with a 10 percent and three brushing teeth with a 14 percent reduced risk of diabetes (compared to people who brushed their teeth only once a day or not at all).
Brushing teeth three times in old age
In the older group of participants, there was no difference in the risk of diabetes between people who brushed twice a day and those who brushed once a day or not at all. However, brushing teeth three or more times a day was associated with a risk reduced by seven percent compared to brushing teeth once or not at all.
Periodontal diseases riskier in younger people?
Periodontal disease seemed to have a stronger effect in younger adults: in the younger group it was associated with a 14 percent increased risk of diabetes, while in the older group the increased risk was only 6 percent.
Particularly high risk due to missing teeth in old people
In adults under the age of 51, the absence of one to seven teeth was associated with a 16 percent increased risk of diabetes, while in the older group from 52 years of age, the absence of 15 or more teeth had the greatest effect - their diabetes risk increased by 34 percent.
Was there a difference between men and women?
In women there was a stronger correlation between increased tooth brushing and a lower risk of diabetes. For them, brushing their teeth three times has been linked to a 15 percent reduction in the risk of diabetes, and brushing their teeth twice has reduced the risk by eight percent compared to women who brushed their teeth only once a day or not at all.
What results have been found in men?
In men, the risk of diabetes was only 5 percent lower among those who brushed their teeth three or more times a day than those who brushed them once or not at all. There was no statistically significant difference in risk between men who brushed teeth twice a day and men who brushed once a day or not at all.
Caries can contribute to chronic and systemic inflammation and increase the production and circulation of inflammatory biomarkers, which are linked to insulin resistance and the development of diabetes, the researchers report in a press release. Periodontal diseases and an increased number of missing teeth can therefore increase the risk of illness. In return, the improvement in oral hygiene can be linked to a reduced risk of developing diabetes. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Study links frequent tooth brushing to lower risk of diabetes while dental disease and missing teeth associated with increased risk, in Diabetologia (published 03.03.2020), Diabetologia