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Crazy Stuff - Tooth Care and IOP

Submitted by dave on Mon, 11/06/2006 - 2:42pm

This has to be one of the most unexpected questions that has come out of collecting all this IOP data: is there a connection between oral care and IOP?

Listerine AdIn other words, can brushing your teeth lower your IOP?


I'm sure no one has thought to attempt serious scientific research on this question (yet). But the new Listerine ads point out that there is probably a connection between the health of the mouth and the health of the body (after all, the mouth is part of the body).

I started a new oral care program recently and just by chance (due to the fact that I am collecting IOP data at every opportunity) I noticed that my IOP was lower after brushing my teeth. I've seen this now about a half dozen to a dozen times, but I never collected IOP data for the purpose of examining this relationship - until today. (I don't have all that previous data on my blog yet, but I'm working on getting it posted.)

I decided to test this question today. Here is the data:

Before brushing teeth (time 3:27 PM):

Left 16.7; Right 20.7

After brushing teeth (time 3:37 PM)

Left 14.7; Right 18.5

Usually the IOP values can vary by a point or two for no apparent reason. Therefore, for this single test I recorded 24 measurements. I haven't performed any real analysis on the data, but today's measurements, together with what I've seen in several previous IOP values after brushing my teeth, make me want to take this question more seriously.

What could be causing this effect? Is it my new oral care routine? Just in case it is, here is what I do:

  1. I clean my tongue as per Ayurveda
  2. I brush my teeth with pure baking soda and a Sonicare toothbrush for 5 minutes.
    1. In this step, I take 2 minutes to get the baking soda between my gums and teeth the best that I can.
    2. Then I brush with the Sonicare, using a lot more baking soda for 2 minutes or more.
  3. I rinse my mouth with hydrogen peroxide.
  4. I rinse my mouth with water.

Another possibility is that brushing my teeth relaxes me. I'll see if we can test this possibility in the future

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