According to data presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week, periodontal disease can quadruple a person’s risk of kidney disease. This research is the beginning of a large-scale study on whether gum disease treatment can prevent or treat kidney disease.
Risk Independent of Diabetes
The current research, which was conducted at the University of California, looked at data from 699 African American adults who underwent comprehensive dental checks and had their kidney health assessed. They found that those who had severe periodontal disease were 4.2 times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease.
The association persisted even after correcting for diabetes, a major contributor to kidney failure that is also strongly associated with gum disease. Other factors corrected for included diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and income.
Helping Poorer Communities
In part, the ethnicity of participants was important because researchers wanted to help address the health disparities common among communities of African American adults, where end-stage kidney disease patients may not be given the same quality of care. Improving prevention with
This study is part of a larger focus on the link between gum disease and kidney function. This data shows findings from the initial population, but it’s only the start of the larger project. The goal was to identify a suitable study population that had both conditions. Next, the goal is to determine whether treating gum disease can actually improve kidney disease function. Two-thirds of the study population will receive gum disease treatment, while the others will only get dental care according to medical necessity.
Kidney function will be tracked for both groups.
Although researchers are focusing on a specific population for this study, the connection between the two conditions affects all populations, and is another sign of the intimate connection between oral and general health.