Treating Common Gum Condition Could Limit Heart Attacks for Some Patients

There’s an easy adjustment that could be made to aid people with chronic kidney disease.

Treating a common gum condition in chronic kidney disease patients could lower their risk of potentially fatal heart disease by a large margin, according to Aston University researchers.

More than 10 percent of the adult population has CKD, which generally results in poor health. The disease gradually inhibits kidney function while raising blood pressure. It can also cause progressive vascular injury and heart disease.

New research indicates that a higher mortality rate in people with CKD stems from inflammatory conditions like gum inflammation, loss of bone that supports teeth and tooth loss. Studies in the past have shown that 85 percent of people with CKD have inflammatory gum problems, which result from poor removal of dental plaque.

Aston University in England is leading many of the studies on these issues. The research could prove to be pivotal for people who suffer from CKD.

The next study will include 80 people, 60 of whom have CKD. Some will also have periodontitis while others will not. There will be a group of 20 people with CKD and periodontitis who will be randomly treated for the gum problem during a one-year period. These people will have their information analyzed at three monthly intervals to look for signs of cardiovascular disease.

The project is part of a collaboration between Dr. Irundika Dias and Professor Helen Griffiths of Aston’s School of Health and Life Sciences, Professor Iain Chapple, Head of Periodontology at the University of Birmingham, and Professor Paul Cockwell, Consultant Nephrologist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. This partnership has provided Dias with the ability to secure samples from patients with and without periodontitis in Birmingham hospitals.