Dental Tribune America

Plaque-identifying toothpaste may reduce risk of inflammatory diseases

MADISON, Wis., U.S.: Various studies have previously suggested that there is a link between poor oral health and the occurrence of inflammatory diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and strokes. Since inflammation plays an important role in atherosclerosis and can accurately be measured by high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), researchers have recently investigated the effectiveness of Plaque HD toothpaste and reported that it significantly reduces hs-CRP levels in subjects with baseline elevations.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47.2% of American adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease, and periodontal disease affects over 70.0% of adults 65 years and older.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU’s) Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton, Florida; the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute in Marshfield, Wisconsin; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Dental Tribune International has previously reported that researchers were able to significantly reduce hs-CRP and dental plaque in patients with baseline elevations who used Plaque HD as part of a randomized pilot trial. In the present study, 112 subjects with an hs-CRP level of between 0.5 and 10.0 mg/L received an identical brushing protocol together with a 30-day supply of toothpaste containing either Plaque HD or a placebo toothpaste.

The data showed a significant reduction in hs-CRP in a prespecified group that included 40 patients with a baseline hs-CRP level of higher than 2 mg/L but lower than 10 mg/L, and the results support the hypothesis that Plaque HD might reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The findings are compatible with those of the previous pilot trial, as both studies suggested benefits only in subjects with baseline elevations.

“The current findings are similar to those from our previous pilot trial,” said senior author Dr. Charles H. Hennekens, Sir Richard Doll Professor and senior academic advisor at FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, in a press release. “Whether this plaque-identifying toothpaste decreases heart attacks or strokes requires a large-scale randomized trial of sufficient size and duration. These results provide a stronger rationale to conduct such trials. If positive, the results of these trials would have significant potential clinical and public health implications,” he continued.

The researchers are now drafting a research grant proposal to the National Institutes of Health. Their proposed trial will test whether Plaque HD reduces the progression of atherosclerosis in the coronary and carotid arteries.

Plaque HD, the toothpaste used in the studies, was introduced at the beginning of 2016. It incorporates Targetol Technology, which contains natural plant-based disclosing agents that help color and remove plaque more effectively.

The study, titled “Correlation between oral health and systemic inflammation (COHESION): A randomized pilot follow up trial of a plaque identifying toothpaste,” was published online on Feb. 23, 2020, in the American Journal of Medicine, ahead of inclusion in an issue.

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