A Greater Risk of Kidney Disease Now Linked to Patients with Gum Disease

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, January 15, 2015 --(PR.com)-- A study performed by researchers at the University of California in San Francisco has confirmed what scientists have long suspected: that there is a definite link between gum disease and kidney disease. It is a well-established fact that gum disease, which is caused by poor oral hygiene and tobacco-use amongst other factors, is systemic in its effects. This means that it is linked with the occurrence of diseases that affect many of the body’s other major organs and systems.

Palos Verdes dentist, Dr. Giri Palani, routinely treats patients for gum disease and related tooth loss. He explains: “The connection between gum disease and diabetes and cardiovascular disease is well established in the medical literature and while further relationships have been suspected, is hasn’t been until now that one has been brought well to light.”

The Results of this Groundbreaking Study

The study, which was published in the American Society of Nephrology, analyzed a group of African Americans, because gum disease is known to be far more prevalent amongst this demographic. All 700 of the participants, who had a normal kidney function, underwent thorough dental examinations at the start of the study. After a period of 4.8 years, they returned for a follow-up examination and it was found that those with gum problems had developed distinct kidney problems, too.

To be specific, chronic kidney disease was four times as prevalent amongst those with severe gum disease. The researchers made the necessary adjustments for factors that ranged from age and gender to income, diabetes and smoking.

The Importance of Good Oral Health

The results of the study, which were presented last month at the ASN Kidney Week event, revealed yet another startling connection between the health of our mouths and the health of our bodies. One wouldn’t think that having problematic teeth might eventually lead to end-stage kidney disease, but this is just one of many health risks we leave ourselves vulnerable to when we fail to care for our mouths properly.

“There is no escaping it,” says Dr. Giri Palani. “An unhealthy mouth, which is most often characterized by the presence of gum disease, can prove to be life-threatening in the long term!”

Other conditions and health risks that share a connection with gum disease include:

• Diabetes
• Cardiovascular disease
• Respiratory disease
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Osteoporosis
• Stroke risk
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Liver disease
• Pregnancy complications
• Preterm labor

What Exactly is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

Periodontal or gum disease is an advanced bacterial infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is a chronic condition that extends deep down into the pockets enveloping the tooth roots and often leads to tooth loss if left untreated. According to the Center for Disease Control as much as 80% of American adults present with gum disease, whether its in the beginning stages known as gingivitis or the advanced stages of periodontitis. The good news is that gum disease can be easily prevented with good life-long oral hygiene and regular professional dental check-ups and cleanings.

“There’s no need for anyone from any particular ethnic or racial group to become another statistic. The key to prevention is simply to brush and floss regularly and to try and see the dentist at least once per year,” says Palos Verdes dentist, Dr. Palani. “There’s certainly no stretch of resources involved: just a little effort. The rewards can be a much longer and healthier life.”

About Dr. Giri Palani

Dr. Giri Palani is a cosmetic, implant and general dentist who has been serving San Pedro CA and surrounding communities for many years. He is a graduate of the prestigious Marquette University Dental School and completed his general practice residency at the world-renowned Cedar Sinai Hospital in New York. Dr. Palani is certified and qualified in the provision of sedation, dental implants, Invisalign and a plethora of other unique dental services, which he provides from his practice, The Center for Dental Implants. He has earned a Fellowship award from both the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and the Academy of General Dentistry.