Gum disease isn’t just the most prevalent cause of tooth loss for adults — it might also adversely affect the health of one’s kidneys.
According to brand-new findings revealed at this year’s American Society of Nephrology Kidney Week, which took place in Philadelphia from November 11 to November 16, gum disease has been found to be almost directly linked to kidney disease among African-Americans.
Researchers compared African-American subjects with normal kidney function to those suffering from kidney disease. Their findings, published in Science World Report, revealed that the latter group was an astonishing four times more likely to also have periodontal disease.
“Because periodontal disease is common and can be prevented and treated, targeting it may be an important path towards reducing existing racial and ethnic disparities in chronic and end-stage kidney disease,” lead study author Dr. Vanessa Grubbs wrote of these findings in a news release.
According to Science World Report, the researchers looked at data from a group of 699 African-American adults who regularly saw their dentists. The link between gum disease and kidney disease remained at a consistent rate regardless of age, gender, income and even whether or not the patient smoked.
Because periodontal disease starts out as a chronic bacterial infection within a dental cavity, this infection can potentially spread to the kidneys, according to a Counsel and Heal article.
It’s unclear whether or not this correlation between gum disease and kidney disease transcends ethnicity, as only African-Americans were observed in this study. However, regardless of one’s ethnicity, it’s always a good choice to take care of the teeth and gums, and keep both gum disease and kidney disease at bay.