Afflictions of the mouth such as common oral infections, periodontal diseases, and cavities, have been noted to link with inflammatory metabolic patterns that elevate the risk of cardiometabolic diseases, as indicated by an international team of researchers in a new study. The study also found that oral infections could forecast adverse changes in metabolic profiles in the future.
The connection between oral infections and unfavorable metabolic profiles was observed in the Finnish Health 2000/2011 and Parogene study cohorts.
Professor Pirkko Pussinen from the University of Eastern Finland comments, “The observation is groundbreaking, given the scarcity of studies that explore extensive metabolic measures in relation to oral infections, with no prior prospective studies in existence.”
Published in the Journal of Dental Research, the study also involved researchers from the University of Helsinki, Karolinska Institutet, and Medical University of Graz.
Advanced oral infections and inflammations such as endodontic lesions and periodontitis, are established to elevate the risk of cardiometabolic diseases. Although the mechanisms driving these associations are somewhat unclear, it is likely that poor oral health sustains systemic inflammation.
This study included 452 middle-aged and elderly Parogene patients and 6,229 participants from the population-based Health-2000 survey. In 2011, 4,116 Health-2000 participants provided a follow-up serum sample. An NMR spectroscopy method was used to determine serum concentrations of 157 metabolites reflecting the risk of chronic diseases, including lipid and glucose metabolites, ketone bodies, and amino acids.
Oral health status parameters were collected during baseline clinical and radiographic examinations, including those describing periodontal status such as bleeding on probing, periodontal probing depth, and alveolar bone loss. Caries-related parameters included root canal fillings, apical rarefactions, and caries lesions. The study consisted of a cross-sectional analysis of the association between metabolic measures and prevalent oral health, as well as a prospective examination of whether oral infections predict the levels of metabolic measures in the follow-up.
Prevalent inflammatory metabolic profile especially linked to periodontitis, future adverse metabolites to caries
Among 157 metabolic measures, increased periodontal probing depth was linked with 93, bleeding on probing with 88, and periodontal inflammation burden with 77 measures. Among the caries-related parameters, root canal fillings were connected with 47, inadequate root canal fillings with 27, and caries lesions with eight metabolic measures.
In the prospective analyses, caries was linked with 30 and bleeding on probing with eight metabolites. These metabolic measures displayed typical inflammation markers, exhibiting 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 contribute to unhealthy lipid profiles,” states Adjunct Professor Aino Salminen from the University of Helsinki.