The world's first plaque-identifying toothpaste could help reduce heart attacks and strokes, according to a new study.
Scientists say that the paste, called Plaque HD, weakens the core structure of plaque and makes it easier for a person to see so it can to be removed by direct brushing.
Gum inflammation is accurately measured by high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a sensitive marker for future risks of heart attacks or strokes.
For decades, researchers have suggested there is a link between oral health and inflammatory diseases that affect the entire body.
In the study, published by the American Journal of Medicine, a group of random people were given the same brushing schedule and a 30-day supply of toothpaste containing either Plaque HD or an identical non-plaque identifying placebo brand.
The hs-CRP levels in the patients were measured using an enzyme linked with immunosorbent assay.
Plaque HD produced a statistically significant reduction in hs-CRP among those with elevations at baseline.
"The current findings are similar to those from our previous pilot trial,” said Professor Charles Hennekens, from Florida Atlantic University.
"Whether this plaque-identifying toothpaste decreases heart attacks or strokes requires a large-scale randomised trial of sufficient size and duration."
Based on these findings, they are proposing a randomised trial that will test whether Plaque HD reduces the progression of atherosclerosis in the coronary and carotid arteries, where systemic inflammation is an important precursor.
A United States Centres for Disease Control report found that 47.2 per cent of American adults aged 30 or older have some form of periodontal disease, an inflammatory condition of the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth.
The condition also increases with age, affecting more than 70 percent of adults aged 65 and older.
Inflammation throughout the body may be a crucial link between periodontal and other systemic diseases.
It comes as it was revealed that two women a day are estimated to be dying needlessly because of a ‘heart attack gender gap’ where they do not receive equal treatment to men, a charity has suggested.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says stark inequalities in awareness, diagnosis and treatment of heart attacks contributed to an estimated 8,200 plus women dying in England and Wales over a 10-year period from 2003-2013.
According to a BHF-funded study at the University of Leeds, women are also 50% more likely than men to initially receive an incorrect diagnosis when they are experiencing a heart attack.