If you have periodontal disease you may want to also be wary of chronic kidney disease, or CKD. Studies have shown a link between the two conditions, with patients with gum disease suffering worse CKD symptoms than those without.
A recent study by the University of Birmingham echoed these findings as well but delved deeper into the connection between the two serious conditions.
Gum disease, more specifically periodontitis, is a disease of the gums where the gums become inflamed with bacteria. This can cause bone, tissue, and tooth loss. It can also affect many other chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, and various heart conditions. It can also affect chronic kidney disease.
In the study by the University of Birmingham, researchers examined 700 patients with CKD and were given full examinations, including oral health examinations. The goal of the study was to examine whether or not periodontal inflammation and kidney function were related, and if so, how.
What the researchers found was that even as small as a ten percent increase in gum inflammation reduced kidney function by three percent. Over a five year period of time, this was found to increase the risk of kidney failure from 32 percent to 34 percent. Furthermore, researchers found that a ten percent drop in kidney function equated to a 25 percent increase in gum inflammation.
But researchers were surprised to learn that inflammation was not the link between the worsening of CKD symptoms and periodontitis, but rather an effect called “oxidative stress,” which is described as “an imbalance between reactive oxygen species and the body’s antioxidant capacity which damages tissues on a cellular level,” according to Science Daily.
This still means that gum health plays a key role between CKD and periodontitis and that if you have CKD there is still hope for healing your gums and reducing your risk of kidney failure, say the studies authors. Even reducing your gum inflammation by ten percent can reduce your risk of kidney failure and benefit renal function.
If you suffer from CKD or periodontitis, speak to Dr. Abelar about ways you can reduce inflammation at home, such as by brushing and flossing, or by other means of intervention to treat gum disease.