Gum Disease Linked to Kidney Disease in Two Studies

Gum Disease Linked to Kidney Disease in Two Studies

When it comes to gum disease treatment in Portland, our team at Portland Periodontics has the skill and experience needed to improve the long-term health of our patients’ smiles.

If you’ve received a referral to see Dr. Goldwyn for treatment, it’s important that you don’t ignore the recommendation of your family dentist. Receiving gum disease treatment in Portland can not only help to save the health of your teeth and gums, it can also lower your risk for kidney disease, reports the results of two recent studies.

In one of the studies, researchers found a connection between gum inflammation and a decrease in kidney function. The second study found that patients who exhibited signs of advanced gum disease were more likely to develop poor kidney function in the future.

These two studies have added to the growing amount of research that shows a deep connection exists between our oral and overall health.

In examining the results of their study, researchers warned that advanced gum disease, also known as periodontitis, should be considered a prognostic factor for progressive kidney disease.

Inflammation’s Link to Gum Disease

Millions of Americans live with chronic kidney disease, which ranks as the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S. Research has linked heart disease to chronic kidney disease through oxidative stress and systemic inflammation. With this knowledge, researchers from the U.K. sought to determine whether those same factors could also connect kidney disease to gum disease.

To determine the answer, researchers recruited 770 participants dealing with Stage 3 to 5 predialysis chronic kidney disease. To determine and record gum inflammation among the study participants, researchers used the periodontal inflamed surface area (PISA) score and kidney function using estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a test used to determine kidney function.

The team found that a 10 percent increase in PISA score led to a 2.5 percent decrease in eGFR, suggesting that the inflammation of gum tissue indirectly impacts kidney health. Researchers believe that one of the ways the inflammation of gum tissue may impact kidney function is by altering certain elements in the blood that are then transferred to the kidneys. The team discovered that oxidative stress – stress that occurs at a cellular level –could be caused by gum inflammation, which then hurts kidney function.

While the results of this initial study were preliminary, researchers stated that the subject deserves further consideration so that a better understanding of how gum inflammation impacts kidney health could be determined.

Gum Disease and Kidney Health

In the second study, researchers looked at how periodontal and dental health metrics related to eGFR using data collect on roughly 200 patients with Stage 3 to 5 kidney disease.

At the start of the study, participants completed a comprehensive periodontal examination where their oral health was scored based on factors that included gum bleeding, plaque buildup, tooth decay, and number of permanent teeth they had remaining. The participants’ eGFR was then monitored during a 5-year follow up.

The team found that participants with chronic kidney disease had severe oral health needs. Over 89 percent of those examined were dealing with either moderate or severe gum disease. Additionally, the eGFR scores were significantly associated to the overall gum health of the participants, and that poor gum health metrics recorded at the start of the study were strongly linked with poor kidney function in the future.

Despite the evidence uncovered in these studies, researchers remain unclear on what links our gum and kidney health. What these studies do make clear, however, is the need every patient has for regular dental care.

For patients who practice strong daily brushing and flossing habits, their risk for gum disease decreases significantly. When focused on their gum health, patients who receive regular preventative dental care from their family dentist have a far lower risk for gum disease, tooth loss, and the serious health consequences that come from neglecting their oral health.

If you want to avoid needing to receive gum disease treatment in Portland, making your oral health a top priority is an absolute must. Not only will the health of your smile thank you, but your body will as well.

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