Scientists find how to reduce ‘bad’ bacteria in type 2 diabetes

Credit: Unsplash+

Researchers from Osaka University have made a promising discovery that could have big implications for people with type 2 diabetes.

In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, the team found that gargling with an antiseptic mouthwash containing chlorhexidine gluconate effectively reduced the levels of bacteria associated with periodontitis, a serious gum disease.

This reduction in harmful bacteria not only has implications for oral health but also showed promising effects on blood sugar control among the study participants.

Periodontitis is an inflammation of the tissues around the teeth, often leading to severe oral health issues, including tooth loss.

Moreover, ongoing inflammation in the mouth has been linked to systemic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory infections.

The bacteria primarily responsible for periodontitis include Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, and Tannerella forsythia.

The Osaka University study aimed to target these bacteria in patients with type 2 diabetes, a group particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of periodontal disease.

The study involved 173 patients with type 2 diabetes, who provided saliva and blood samples over a year. Initially, participants gargled with water for six months, followed by six months of gargling with the antiseptic mouthwash.

This design allowed the researchers to directly compare the effects of regular gargling with water to those of an antiseptic mouthwash on the levels of periodontitis-related bacteria and blood sugar control, as indicated by HbA1c levels—a marker of average blood sugar over the past two to three months.

The findings were clear: while gargling with water had no significant impact on the levels of harmful bacteria or HbA1c, the use of antiseptic mouthwash resulted in a noticeable decrease in periodontitis-related bacteria, especially among those who gargled at least twice a day.

Interestingly, the study observed considerable individual variation in response to the mouthwash, with younger patients showing a more significant reduction in bacterial levels and improvement in blood sugar control compared to older participants.

This study underscores the potential of simple oral hygiene practices, such as the regular use of antiseptic mouthwash, to not only improve oral health but also to offer a complementary approach to managing conditions linked to oral inflammation.

While the effects on blood sugar control were varied and require further investigation, the reduction in harmful oral bacteria is a promising development.

Given the widespread prevalence of periodontitis and its association with systemic diseases, these findings highlight the importance of oral hygiene in overall health management.

Future research could focus on identifying which patient populations are most likely to benefit from such interventions and exploring the mechanisms by which reducing oral bacteria can impact systemic health conditions.

This simple, accessible method of improving oral health could potentially enhance the quality of life for people with gum disease and type 2 diabetes.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes, and to people with diabetes, some fruits are better than others.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies that low calorie diets may help reverse diabetes, and 5 vitamins that may prevent complication in diabetes.

The research findings can be found in Scientific Reports.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.