Brushing for better? Colgate-Palmolive kickstarts oral care health clinical study

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

The two-year clinical study will be conducted in partnership with Verily Life Sciences to look at the link between oral care and the systemic health conditions cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes [Getty Images]
The two-year clinical study will be conducted in partnership with Verily Life Sciences to look at the link between oral care and the systemic health conditions cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes [Getty Images]

Related tags: Oral care, oral health, Oral hygiene, Health, Colgate-palmolive, clinical study

Colgate-Palmolive has partnered with research organisation Verily Life Sciences to conduct a two-year clinical trial investigating the link between oral health and systemic human health conditions, specifically cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes.

The collaborative research, to be conducted in the US, formed part of Verily’s ongoing wider Project Baseline Health Study (PBHS)​ – a longitudinal cohort study to map and better understand human health in individuals and the broader population.

Robust home oral hygiene and professional therapy

Colgate-Palmolive’s Baseline Oral Health Study​ would evaluate how oral health practices, including intensive non-surgical periodontal therapy* and a robust home hygiene using Colgate’s hum smart toothbrush and connected technologies, affected health more broadly. More specifically, it would look at how robust oral care hygiene impacted corresponding changes to biomarkers characterising the systematic health conditions cardiovascular disease and/or Type II diabetes.

The two-year randomised controlled Phase 4 trial would start this month and finish in May 2023, involving 200 participants recruited from the existing pool of the PBHS with non-surgical periodontal therapy administered by co-investigators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry.

*Periodontal treatment included methods like scaling and root planing to address gum and oral health issues in a preventative manner before anything became too serious or led to tooth loss.

‘Oral health is a window to overall health’

“Colgate is at the forefront of oral health research, and this innovative partnership with Verily will advance our understanding of and quantify the link between improved oral health and control of systemic conditions,”​ said Maria Ryan DDS PhD, VP and chief clinical officer at Colgate-Palmolive.

“Oral health is a window to overall health,” ​Ryan said. “It can provide signals of new or worsening disease as exemplified by the connection between periodontal disease and elevated C-reactive protein, a market of systemic inflammation, complicating diabetes control and increasing risk of cardiovascular disease. We look forward to conducting this study with Verily and incorporating the learnings to advance oral and overall health care.”

Rob Califf MD, head of clinical policy at Verily and Google Health, said it had been known for some time that oral health, cardiovascular disease and diabetes were “interrelated”​ but the depth of biological measurement in this trial would expand knowledge “dramatically”.

Amy Abernethy MD PhD, president of Verily’s clinical research platforms, said: “This effort underscores the versatility of Verily’s Baseline Platform as well as our commitment to accelerating and improving clinical research through the smart use of data, creative collaboration and unrivalled technical capabilities.”

Oral care spotlight – top 2021 beauty trend to watch

*Oral care spotlight ​was flagged as one of CosmeticsDesign-Europe’s top EMEA beauty trend to watch in 2021​, as industry and consumers alike focused in on oral hygiene during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

At the end of 2020, Colgate-Palmolive released details of a clinical research programme​ it was conducting, for example, that aimed to validate the potential of oral care health products in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Unilever also shared preliminary findings​ on how mouthwash containing Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) could be used as a preventative measure against viral transmission of COVID-19.

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