Skipping Night Toothbrushing It Can Highten Cardiovascular Risks
In a groundbreaking study conducted at Osaka University Hospital in Japan between April 2013 and March 2016, researchers delved into the link between toothbrushing habits and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). The study included 1,675 participants who were hospitalized for various reasons, including those seeking dental treatment and perioperative oral care.
The participants were divided into four groups based on their toothbrushing habits: those who brushed twice daily, in the morning and at night (Group MN), those who brushed only at night (Group Night), those who brushed only in the morning (Group M), and those who did not brush at all (Group None). These groups comprised of 409, 751, 164, and 259 participants respectively. A notable demographic detail was the male-to-female ratio in Group M, with men outnumbering women 4 to 1.
The researchers evaluated various aspects of the participants’ lifestyle, including their age, gender, and smoking history. Additionally, an in-depth oral health assessment was carried out by a dentist, encompassing factors such as tooth brushing frequency, periodontal pocket depth, extent of tooth mobility, and tooth count.
The study also considered several cardiovascular events, including hospitalization for heart failure, arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, and valvular and aortic diseases requiring surgery.
Interestingly, despite all participants having similar levels of C-reactive protein, hemoglobin, albumin, creatinine, and HbA1c, their brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels varied significantly. Another fascinating observation was that Groups MN and Night displayed markedly higher survival rates compared to Group None.
When it came to dental parameters, variations were noted among the groups. Group MN, for instance, had the most participants with dental pocket depths exceeding eight millimeters. Moreover, there were more patients in Groups None and MN with a dental mobility index of three compared to Groups Night and M.
A noteworthy finding was the high number of middle-aged and older individuals who reported not brushing their teeth at night. Many of these individuals cited nighttime habits, lifestyle, regional variations, or simply a lack of interest in dental hygiene as reasons for their habits. The researchers observed that the lack of brushing at night and after lunch can lead to increased intraoral deposits, thereby heightening the risk of dental caries and other periodontal diseases.
The study underlined the critical importance of night brushing to maintain good oral health. The reduced salivary flow during sleep can increase the intraoral bacterial load, thus making nighttime brushing a crucial practice. This work is an important step towards a deeper understanding of how oral hygiene habits can directly impact systemic health, particularly in relation to cardiovascular diseases.