As a preferred Portland gum disease treatment provider, our staff at Portland Periodontics wants patients to understand the risks associated with gum disease. Studies have shown that individuals suffering from periodontitis – an advanced form of gum disease – have a higher risk of developing a range of chronic illnesses that include heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Now a new study suggests that patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease and periodontitis have a higher mortality rate when compared to patients who only suffer from kidney disease. This study – led by researchers from the University of Birmingham – furthers adds to the growing evidence that links poor oral health with other chronic diseases.
The Link Between Oral & Overall Health
In reviewing their findings, researchers noted the importance that an individual’s oral health isn’t just about protecting their teeth and gums. Rather, it’s important to view the mouth as a doorway to the body that acts as an access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream through the gums.
Reviewing data collected from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers found that of the study’s over 13,000 participants those with both chronic kidney disease and periodontal disease had a mortality rate of 41 percent over a 10-year period of time. Participants who only suffered from kidney disease had a rate of only 32 percent.
To compare, diabetics suffering from chronic kidney disease have 43 percent 10-year mortality rate, compared to a 32 percent mortality rate individuals suffering from kidney disease without diabetes. Approximately 11 percent of the world’s population suffers from periodontitis, which ranks the disease as the six most prevalent worldwide. Overall, researchers noted that 92 percent of senior adults suffer from at least one chronic disease.
Researchers are just now beginning to understand the connection between gum disease and other chronic illnesses. Whether heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease, remarkable strides have been made in recent years in developing research that has exposed an interconnectedness previously unimagined by health experts.
Researchers noted in the study that the rate of chronic illnesses like kidney disease have been growing due to refined diet, increased sedentary lifestyles and an aging population. Researchers also noted the significant impact global disease has on the world economy and healthcare system.
That a patient’s oral health has such a dramatic impact if they already suffer from another chronic disease says a lot about the role oral health has to play in improving a patient’s overall health. This connection may make it possible one day for a gum disease diagnosis to serve as an early warning sign for other potential health problems, where Portland gum disease treatment providers like our staff at Portland Periodontics could adopt a targeted risk-based approach to screening patients for other diseases.
Improving Your Health
This and other similar research makes it clear that patients suffering from gum disease need to treat their condition with the same level of seriousness as high cholesterol or elevated blood pressure. A failure to treat gum disease not only places your oral health at peril, it could very well endanger your long-term health, as well.
If you suffer from gum disease, don’t put off treatment any longer. Our staff at Portland Periodontics provides the kind of Portland gum disease treatment you require.