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Emberashh t1_jbbvzf2 wrote

Were they able to identify what specifically caused the apparent reduction or is that still unclear?


CogitusCreo t1_jbbzt9d wrote

This study didn't dig that deep, but a similar study about alzheimers and oral hygiene speculated that bacteria can enter the bloodstream and end up in the brain. I think they may have been looking at the use of mouthwash with xylitol. I can't find that exact study now, but you might like these:

Edit: I'm talking about mouthwash below. Edit 2: Keep xylitol away from your dog! It's fatal to them.
Xylitol is great, BTW. A scientist friend of mine said that bacteria absorb it like sugar, but can't metabolize it, so they die (that may be a massive oversimplification). More info here:


UterineTemple t1_jbc3guc wrote

Oh dear, would not Xylitol hurt your gut flora if taken orally? I assume if used for just mouth washing it's not so bad, but there are loads of studies praising the role of healthy gut bacteria.


CogitusCreo t1_jbc88q6 wrote

I would not recommend ingesting it, only as a mouthwash.


baron_von_noseboop t1_jbf13ji wrote

Anyone who buys products with xylitol should know that even a small amount will kill a dog.


Sanpaku t1_jbcnkt3 wrote

There's a rather long history of epidemiology showing an association of periodontitis with systemic chronic diseases, and the main candidate mechanism is that bacterial lipopolysaccharides, one of the most inflammatory compounds known, circulates from the gum to other tissues.

An older review, but still worthwhile:

Kaur et al, 2016. Unraveling the link between periodontal health and cardiovascular diseases. J Dent Sci Oral Rehab, 7, pp.28-35.

I'll admit to not having the best oral hygiene, largely because I haven't had any dental issues for 30 years. I brush maybe once a day. Floss once a week. But when I encountered the evidence on periodontitis and CVD I bought a bottle of Listerine and keep it in the car. Swishing Listerine around my mouth became part of the morning and evening commutes.


niconiconicnic0 t1_jbhr3i2 wrote

Mouthwash is actually not only ineffective, it is directly linked to increased blood pressure and hypertension via reducing bacteria involved in nitric oxide production which influences blood pressure.

Conclusion: In this study, frequent regular use of over-the-counter mouthwash was associated with increased risk of hypertension, independent of major risk factors for hypertension and several other potential confounders.”


Critically reviews evidence from a published study that suggested mouthwash use is associated with increased risk for prediabetes/diabetes.”

“those using mouthwash twice daily or more at baseline had an approximately 50% increased risk of developing prediabetes/diabetes combined, compared to those who used mouthwash less than twice daily or not at all.”


Meatrition OP t1_jbby373 wrote

It's epidemiology so not really.


Emberashh t1_jbbykxe wrote

Darn. Im highly curious as to whats connecting the two.

Unless its like a weird roundabout gut flora thing. May be bad oral hygiene leads to you ingesting bad stuff too much and thats how it throws things off?


1thenumber t1_jbc5c0m wrote

Epidemiology cannot speak to causation, so you are jumping too far ahead. It can generate a hypothesis that can then be tested in a controlled trial. But asking people to self-report on habits over a long period is not going to tell us cause; it is going to tell us what every similar study does - that healthy people are healthy, and unhealthy people are unhealthy.

The healthy group in this case might be simply healthy because they care about being healthy - they are "adherers" or "compliers". There's a really fascinating study that was done in 1980 on a cholesterol drug called clofibrate, where the initial results were unspectacular when compared to placebo. The clofibrate showed no improvement over the placebo group in terms of mortality.

However, when those two groups were split again between "adherers" and non-adherers, the adherers in BOTH groups saw almost the exact same reduction in mortality that the mouthwash study saw - about 50%. This means in a placebo group, where no actual intervention was being taken, simply adhering to the instructions given by the study was enough to almost halve your mortality risk.