A healthy mouth helps to maintain balanced metabolic profiles
Common oral infections, periodontal diseases and caries are associated with inflammatory metabolic profiles related to an increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases, a new study suggests. Oral infections also predicted future adverse changes in metabolic profiles. The study was a collaborative effort by an international team of researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Helsinki in Finland, the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and the Medical University of Graz in Austria.
The association between oral infections and adverse metabolic profiles was observed in the Finnish Health 2000/2011 and Parogene study cohorts and was published in the Journal of Dental Research.
The present study comprised 452 middle-aged and elderly Parogene patients and 6,229 participants of the population-based Health-2000 survey. In 2011, 4,116 Health-2000 participants provided a follow-up serum sample. Serum concentrations of 157 metabolites reflecting the risk of chronic diseases, such as lipid and glucose metabolites, ketone bodies and amino acids, were determined with an NMR spectroscopy method.
The study had a cross-sectional part analysing the association between the metabolic measures with prevalent oral health, and a prospective part examining whether oral infections predict the levels of metabolic measures in the follow-up.
Among 157 metabolic measures, increased periodontal probing depth was associated with 93 measures, bleeding on probing with 88, and periodontal inflammation burden with 77. Among the caries-related parameters, root canal fillings were associated with 47 metabolic measures, inadequate root canal fillings with 27, and caries lesions with eight. In the prospective analyses, caries was associated with 30 metabolites and bleeding on probing with eight. These metabolic measures were typical of inflammation, thus showing positive associations with fatty acid saturation degree and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) parameters, and negative associations with high density lipoprotein (HDL) parameters.
“Oral infections may partially explain unhealthy lipid profiles,” says Adjunct Professor Aino Salminen from the University of Helsinki.