People who brush their teeth three times a day or more are less likely to develop diabetes, research suggests.
Those under the age of 51 who brushed their teeth more than the recommended twice a day had a 14 per cent lower risk of diabetes.
A study looked at the oral hygiene of almost 190,000 people from South Korea between 2003 and 2006.
After an average follow-up time of 10 years, 16 per cent had developed diabetes.
A similar number had suffered gum disease.
Researchers said inflammation plays a crucial role in the development of diabetes, a condition more than five million people will have the UK by 2025.
Gum disease has been linked to many health complications, including stroke and heart disease.
The study, led by Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, published in the journal Diabetologia.
The participants part of the National Health Insurance System-Health Screening Cohort (NHIS-HEALS) in Korea, and had self-reported how much they brushed their teeth.
Their past medical history and oral hygiene indicators presented in the database.
One in six (17.5 percent) were found to have periodontal disease – inflammed gums that precedes gum disease – which is caused by infrequent brushing.
After an average follow-up time of 10 years, those with periodontal disease were nine per cent more likely to have developed diabetes.
And people who had at least 15 missing teeth were 21 per cent more likely, the authors found after taking other various factors into account.
But it was also found that people who brushed their teeth three times a day or more were eight per cent less likely to have developed diabetes.
Brushing teeth three times a day linked to a reduced risk of developing diabetes by 14 per cent.
While, those who brushed twice times a day had a 10 per cent lower risk.