Gum Disease FAQs
Is there a link between Periodontal Disease and Kidney Disease?Periodontal (gum) disease is a bacterial tooth infection that can be treated easily if detected early. However, many people aren’t aware they have gum disease or fail to treat it properly, and it progresses to seriously damaged gums, lost teeth, and problems with the mouth bones that hold the teeth. In recent years, quite a few studies have shown that periodontal disease can make people more prone to kidney disease, among other conditions.
Also known as chronic renal disease, chronic kidney disease is a serious condition in which kidney function decreases over time, eventually causing kidney failure if not treated in time. In the general population of people – all ages, all races, etc. – people who have periodontal disease or are missing teeth are just about twice as likely to have chronic kidney disease.* However, African Americans, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians are at increased risk of kidney disease. In fact, African Americans with normal kidney function but suffering from periodontal disease developed chronic kidney disease at four times the rate of those who had no gum disease.**
If you are experiencing persistent bad breath, loose teeth, inflamed and sensitive gums, or gums that bleed easily, you may have gum disease. Please make an appointment with us as soon as possible for a diagnosis. We will clean your teeth well, help fix any damage the disease has already caused your teeth or gums, and recommend an ongoing oral hygiene plan to reduce your likelihood of the gum disease progressing further.
Each new piece of research that emerges about the links between periodontal disease and other life-threatening diseases reinforces the importance of excellent dental hygiene and regular checkups with your dentist. Your health is in your hands – and it may begin with a good toothbrush and some floss!
*http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/01/30/us-periodontal-disease-idUSCOL06971020080130 — December 10, 2014.
**http://dentistrytoday.com/todays-dental-news/10719-periodontal-disease-associated-with-risk-of-kidney-disease—Accessed December 10, 2014.
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