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Kidney, Gum Diseases Double Whammy To Longevity

Update Date: Feb 19, 2016 09:20 AM EST

Gum Disease can hasten death from kidney related ailments, claims a new study while drawing attention to oral health for general well-being.

According to UPI, researchers found that people with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and Periodontitis had a higher risk of dying compared to those with only CKD. Researchers analyzed records of 861 people who participated in the Third National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. The increased risk of 10-year mortality due to gum disease was calculated at 41 percent.

"It's important to note that oral health isn't just about teeth," said Iain Chapple of University of Birmingham. "The mouth is the doorway to the body, rather than a separate organ, and is the access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream via the gums. A lot of people with gum disease aren't aware of it, perhaps they just have blood in their spit after brushing teeth, but this unchecked damage to gums then becomes a high risk area for the rest of the body."

The team said they are working to determine if the association is causal. Hence an explanation of the association is not readily available. But researchers did not rule out gum disease worsening systemic inflammation that contributed to the effects of CKD.

It was also found that diabetes and CKD increased mortality. The 10-year mortality risk for people with both these conditions was calculated at 43 percent.

If the link is causal, diagnosis of dental problems could also lead to early finding other underlying illnesses that may go undetected until advanced stages.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

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