Gum Disease Found to be Associated with Kidney Disease Deaths
A new study has uncovered further evidence that a close link exists between oral health and chronic diseases; specifically that patients with chronic kidney disease and severe gum disease have a greater risk of death than those with healthy gums.
Led by the University of Birmingham in the UK, the study, the results of which were published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, found that oral health definitely isn’t just about teeth, again highlighting the importance of good oral hygiene.
Iain Chapple, senior author of the study and a professor in periodontology, said: "The mouth is the doorway to the body, rather than a separate organ, and is the access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream via the gums."
For the research, Chapple and his colleagues analysed data from some 13,734 individuals in the US, of which 6% were found to have chronic kidney disease.
The team then assessed the link between severe gum disease and mortality in people with chronic kidney disease. They found that over 10 years, the risk of death for people with chronic kidney disease was increased by 9% if they also had periodontitis (severe gum disease).
Professor Chapple said that the most worrying fact is that people with periodontitis often don’t know they have it. A little bit of blood when they brush their teeth is often dismissed as normal, but if they don’t have it checked out further they could be risking problems in the rest of their bodies.