Asthma Increases Risk for Periodontitis

Peter Russell

September 25, 2017

People with asthma should pay particularly close attention to their oral health after research found a strong link between the condition and gum disease.

The Brazilian study analysed 21 research papers published between 1979 and 2017 that examined links between asthma and gum disease, also known as periodontitis.

The body of research, involving more than 120,000 individuals, found that people with asthma were 18.8% more likely to have gum disease than those who did not.

Gum Disease and Health

Gum disease has previously been linked to a number of other health conditions, including heart diseasestrokechronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes.

Previous research has found that children and adults with asthma are more likely to have gum disease than those who do not. However, the reasons have remained unclear.

Responding to the findings, Dr Nigel Carter, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation comments that the research "could help many millions of asthma sufferers from having to deal with further significant health problems".

Signs of Gum Disease

The Foundation says people should be alert to early signs of gum disease. These include:

"The good news is that avoiding gum disease can be as simple as brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, using interdental brushes daily and regular visits to the dentist," says Dr Carter. "While gum disease can be treated very effectively, the best approach is certainly prevention and making sure we do not fall foul of it at all.

"When not caught and treated early enough gum disease can lead to tooth loss and further oral health complications."

According to Asthma UK, there are 5.4 million people in the UK who currently receive treatment for asthma.

The UK has some of the highest rates of asthma across Europe.

SOURCES:

Association Between Asthma and Periodontal Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Moraschini V, Journal of Periodontology

Oral Health Foundation

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