Brushing Teeth Three Times a Day Prevents from Diabetes While Increases Risk of Dental Diseases

Although there is no connection between diabetes and teeth brushing apparently but the new study has revealed that brushing teeth three times or more reduces the risk of diabetes by 8%. However, it also shared that this frequent tooth brushing increases the risk of dental diseases by 9% and the risk of missing teeth by 21% more. This study is a remarkable contribution to determine the standard oral hygiene practices.

The complete study findings are reported in the journal the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) namely “Diabetologia.  Click here to read it.

Inflammation is a major reason behind diabetes development and a number of other diseases, Periodontal disease is another major health problem that affects a number of people in the USA as well as the whole world. As the risk of periodontal disease observed with poor oral hygiene practices could incite a transient infection and eventually a systemic inflammation, the researchers of this study studied these both for developing diabetes.

The first author of this study Dr. Tae-Jin Song from Seoul Hospital and Ewha Womans University College of Medicine has hypothesized that periodontal disease and poor oral hygiene are two indicators of occurrence of diabetes that include type 2 and type 1 diabetes both.

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To study this relation, the data was obtained from the National Health Insurance System-Health Screening Cohort (NHIS-HEALS) in Korea. The information on 188,013 subjects was collected between the years 2003 and 2006 along with their complete demographic details, medical history, oral hygiene practices, and laboratory records. The data also included oral hygiene behaviors such as frequency of tooth brushings and their dental visit irrespective of reason as well as any professional dental procedure i.e cleaning record. This entire information was self-reported.

The study resulted that approximately one in every six subjects (nearly 17-5%) were diagnosed with periodontal disease. After a follow-up study after 10 years, 16% of them (approximately 31,545 people) developed diabetes.

The computer modeling design, inserted with patient demographics and history, the occurrence of periodontal disease (9%) and missing teeth reports (21%) were declared as two risk factors for developing diabetes.

Studying it in detail showed that results varied for people below 51 years of age and younger as compared to older adults. For example, in younger subjects, brushing teeth twice reduced the onset of developing diabetes by 10% and brushing teeth thrice reduced it by 14%. On the other side, in older people, there was no such difference between the risk of diabetes among people who brushed teeth twice, once or none. However, brushing teeth thrice or more than that showed a decreased risk of diabetes by 7%.

Periodontal disease is a strong factor to provoke diabetes, especially in younger people. It increases the risk by 15% while in older patients it increases the risk by 6%. There was no distinct difference between these results in men and women. While there is a chance of increased effect in women in general.

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While this study doesn’t highlight the exact reason and mechanism involved in oral hygiene and its role in the development of diabetes, it clearly shows that it could be an important factor to consider while controlling the risk of diabetes.

So, frequently brushing the teeth reduces the risk of new-onset of diabetic symptoms and the occurrence of periodontal disease and missing teeth further increase it. And by improving oral hygiene both these risks could be reduced.




Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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