Studies continue to show how the mouth is connected to the body in many ways that we often overlook.

A study comprised of African Americans classified with normal kidney function found that those with severe periodontal disease were 4 times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease (CKD) over those whom did not have severe periodontal disease.*

The Study Background

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the oral cavities that results in inflammation of the gums among other symptoms.

Researchers of the University of California, San Francisco studied 699 African Americans with a follow-up average of 4.8 years for the best possible results.

After adjusting for various factors (i.e. smoking, age, sex, income, medical conditions)those with severe periodontal disease had a 4.2-fold greater incidence of chronic kidney disease.

The results were presented at ASN Kidney Week towards the end of 2014.

The Best Way to Translate This Study?

The study means that those with severe periodontal disease, especially African Americans, should seriously consider treating the condition as soon as possible in order to avoid further damage. Periodontal disease is also linked to many other ailments besides CKD including heart disease and diabetes.

What many do not understand is how treatable periodontal disease is. Granted, severe cases are unable to be reversed, but may still be treated with high success rates. However, if your periodontal disease is in its early stages, then it can easily be reversed with some dental intervention and conscious changes to your oral hygiene habits.

Your best defense against anything related to the mouth remains the same:

  • Brushing (twice a day)
  • Flossing (at least once a day – night is better than daytime)
  • Routine visits to your dentist