Time to brush up

Momma Kliff used to say never underestimate your ability to be astonished even when you think nothing will surprise you anymore. Well Mom couldn’t be more right as get a load of this;

“Frequent tooth brushing may be an attenuating factor and the presence of periodontal disease and an increased number of missing teeth may be augmenting factors for the occurrence of new-onset diabetes. Improving oral hygiene may be associated with a decreased risk of occurrence of new-onset diabetes.”

This was the conclusion of a study entitled; “Improved oral hygiene is associated with decreased risk of new-onset diabetes: a nationwide population-based cohort study” which was published in the recent issue of Diabetologia. We mention this as people might just think we are making this up, that a group of researchers actually studied the correlation between brushing your teeth and diabetes.

Even better we found this groundbreaking research while reading the New York Times. Yes, this bastion of publishing which has founded in 1871 and won 127 Pulitzer Prizes published a story on March 5th entitled “Frequent Tooth Brushing Tied to Lower Diabetes Risk”.

Now we certainly do not want to say this is yet another useless study that has no impact on patients. Quite the contrary as it reinforces what every mother tells her children when they demand they brush their teeth before they go to bed. Silly us we thought brushing your teeth was related to avoiding cavities. Who knew brushing was a way to avoid diabetes too.

Being dim we thought eating right and regular exercise helps avoid diabetes. That obesity and sedentary lifestyles were the reasons that one in three children will develop diabetes during their lifetimes. Yet we are obviously behind the times and are grateful for such groundbreaking research to set the record straight.

But wait it gets better as like all things today toothbrushes are now cloud enabled which of course means brushing data can be tracked and shared. Which of course means companies like Livongo can add another module to their platform. That in addition to giving their patients a conventional glucose meter which communicates with the cloud they can also provide a cloud enabled toothbrush. Then using their way cool whiz-bang artificial intelligence they can correlate brushing and glucose data to provide even better coaching.

Given the copycat nature of all the new coaching companies we can see Onduo following Livongo’s lead. Being a unit of Verily which is a unit of Google you can bet that Onduo will have the coolest cloud enabled toothbrush on the planet. And unlike Livongo Onduo uses the Dexcom CGM to collect glucose data so we can only imagine what groundbreaking discoveries they will find when they add in brushing data.

Of course this will in turn spawn even more toys for the diabetes toy chest as we can see a cloud enabled toothbrush which also collects glucose data. Who knows we might even see a whiz bang way cool toy that not only brushes teeth, but collects glucose data and has the ability to dose insulin. Frankly we shudder to think what the toy makers will come up now armed with this research, but you can bet the ranch whatever toy they come up with it will way cool and very whiz bang.

This also means a whole new set of companies can make the deep dive into the diabetes pool. It won’t be long before Oral B, Gum, Crest, Colgate and Philips Sonicare hook up with Lilly, Novo Nordisk or Sanofi. Soon we’ll begin hearing rumors of Apple working on a super-secret cloud enabled toothbrush that seamlessly talks with the iPhone. Next more rumors will circulate that Amazon too wants in on the cloud enabled toothbrush arena and then having snarky Alexa remind patients to brush their teeth.

Seriously we shudder to even imagine the endless possibilities this groundbreaking research will yield. We haven’t even touched upon the entire area of toothpaste, dental floss or mouthwashes. So best we stop right here before we are overcome with rational thought or common sense.

Have a great weekend everyone and remember to brush your teeth.