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    How oral and dental hygiene plays a role in glaucoma

    Bacteria in the oral cavity shows a potential relationship

    Every so often an Internet advertisement for a life-longevity quiz may pop up on the side bar of a webpage. Some questions seem practical, such as family history or frequency of wellness examinations.

    Other questions, such as frequency flossing one’s teeth, may appear to have more of a correlation to longevity rather than a causal relationship—at least upon first glance.

    Case study selection process

    In the past couple of years, there has been discussion regarding dental and oral health—specifically the oral biomicrome—as possibly having a relationship to glaucoma.

    A case-control study was recently published in the Journal of Glaucoma indicating a potential relationship between bacterial flora in the oral cavity and the presence of glaucoma.1

    Some 119 adult subjects with primary open-angle glaucoma, as defined by visual field and optic nerve head qualifiers, were included in the study, as were 78 control subjects without glaucoma.

    Previously from Dr. Casella: Effects of concurrent use of topical, oral beta blockers

    No history of ocular hypertension and no frank optic nerve head cupping or asymmetry were some of the qualifying criteria for the control group.

    Mouthwash samples from 28 African-American subjects (the largest racial group of the study) and 17 control subjects were tested for the presence and amount of bacterial DNA (which can be interpreted as the bacterial load).

    Benjamin P. Casella, OD, FAAO
    Dr. Casella, a 2007 graduate of University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry, practices in Augusta, GA, with his father in ...


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    Optometry Times A/V