Heart diseases affect millions of people across the world and are the cause of death in about 18 million globally. Early risk detection is one of the most common ways of preventing death. A new study has found a simple test using saliva to detect the risk.
The study, published recently in the journal Frontiers in Oral Health, found that high levels of white blood cells were associated with an early indicator of poor arterial health. A simple oral rinse was used to check for levels of white blood cells, an indicator of gum inflammation in the saliva of healthy adults, according to Press Trust of India.
“Even in young healthy adults, low levels of oral inflammatory load may have an impact on cardiovascular health — one of the leading causes of death in North America,” said the corresponding author of the study, Trevor King in a press statement published in EurekaAlert.
Periodontitis is a common infection of the gums which previous research has linked to the development of cardiovascular disease. According to scientists, the inflammatory factors could enter the bloodstream through gums and damage the suspect that inflammatory factors may enter the bloodstream through the gums and damage the circulatory system, according to the statement.
In the new study, researchers studied data from healthy young people who were not diagnosed with periodontal issues to understand whether lower levels of oral inflammation can be linked to cardiovascular health.
“If we are seeing that oral health may have an impact on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease even in young healthy individuals, this holistic approach can be implemented earlier on,” the first author of the study, Ker-Yung Hong said in the statement.
For the study, the researchers used pulse-wave velocity to measure the stiffness of arteries and flow-mediated dilation, which refers to how well the arteries can dilate to allow higher blood flow. These are important indicators of cardiovascular risk. Stiff and poor-functioning arteries are considered a risk.
The team chose pulse-wave velocity, which can measure the stiffness of arteries, and flow-mediated dilation, a measure of how well arteries can dilate to allow for higher blood flow, as key indicators of cardiovascular risk, according to the statement.
Participants rinsed their mouths with water before rinsing their mouths with saline which was collected for analysis. The findings showed that high white blood cells in saliva had a significant relationship with poor flow-mediated dilation, indicating that these people could be at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
“The mouth rinse test could be used at your annual checkup at the family doctors or the dentist,” said co-author of the study, Michael Glogauer in the statement. Glogauer called it a tool that’s easy to implement.