Indiana University logoAn Indiana University School of Dentistry research claims that the body’s immune response to dental plaque apparently differs by gender and race. A black male is said to be affected a lot by the above claim.

Around 128 black and white men and women were analyzed and it was discovered that dental plaque accumulation apparently did not lead to a change in total white blood count, which is said to be a known risk factor for unfavorable cardiac events. Nevertheless, in black males the researchers observed an important boost in the activity of neutrophils which is said to be a most common type of white blood cell and a vital part of the immune system. This research was led by Michael Kowolik, B.D.S., Ph.D., professor of periodontics and associate dean for graduate education at the IU School of Dentistry on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Unlike a lot of researches that may try to recognize the connection between oral inflammatory disease and heart disease risk, these research subjects apparently did not have periodontal disease. They were believed to be healthy people who were supposedly requested to ignore oral hygiene.

Dr Kowolik, “We are talking about healthy people who simply neglect oral hygiene and if they were male and black, we found a response from their white blood cells, or neutrophils, that might be a cause for concern. If you get a bacterial infection anywhere in the body, billions of neutrophils come flooding out of your bone marrow to defend against the intruder. Our observation that with poor dental hygiene white blood cell activity increased in black men but not black women or whites of either sex suggests both gender and racial differences in the inflammatory response to dental plaque. This finding could help us identify individuals at greater risk for infections anywhere in the body including those affecting the heart.”

Dr.Kowolik added, “While we did not observe higher white blood cell counts as the result of dental plaque accumulation, the increased activity of white blood cells, which we did find, may also carry a higher risk for heart disease.”

It is apparently believed that physicians have supposedly always known that one of the major risk factors for a heart attack is said to be a prominent white blood cell count.

This research appears in the August 2009 issue of the Journal of Dental Research.