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Poor Oral Health linked to Wide Variety of Diseases and Mental Illness

UK researchers have found gum disease to be associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular and autoimmune disease. The findings build on a growing body of research linking poor Oral health with broader chronic disease.

Joht Singh Chandan, co-first author on the new study said that the poor Oral health is extremely common, both here in the UK and globally. When Oral ill-health progresses, it can lead to a substantially reduced quality of life.A number of epidemiological studies in recent years have detected associations between periodontal disease and other illnesses. Hypertension in particular has been frequently linked to poor Oral health but studies have also found connections between gum disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Chandan describes this new study, published in the journal BMJ Open, as one of the largest epidemiological studies of its kind to date.  The researchers looked at health records from more than 64,000 patients with a record of periodontal disease. This cohort was compared against 250,000 demographically matched patient health records with no recorded history of periodontal disease.

An average of three and half years of follow-up health data were analyzed for each subject. The goal was to understand what rate of disease appeared in populations with pre-existing gum disease. This doesn’t confirm causality but at least establishes that the poor Oral health being tracked in this specific analysis at least precedes the appearance of other disease.

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