Proper Dental Hygiene Prevents Liver Disease Deaths, Scientists Say

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Scientists have uncovered another important reason for us to be diligent with brushing our teeth. Findings from the recent study show that poor oral hygiene can prove fatal for liver disease patients and thus imply how proper dental hygiene prevents liver disease deaths.


A team at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark led by Dr. Lea Ladegaard Gronkjaer found that death rates from cirrhosis are higher among people with severe gum disease, which is known medically as periodontitis. Periodontitis is caused by bacteria that inflames the gums and weakens the supporting tissues, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.


According to their findings, mouth bugs can cause complications as a persistent source of oral bacterial translocation, causing inflammation, and increasing cirrhosis complications


“Our study showed severe periodontitis strongly predicted higher mortality in cirrhosis. Periodontitis may act as a persistent source of oral bacterial translocation, causing inflammation and increasing cirrhosis complications. As it can be treated successfully, however, we hope our findings motivate more trials on this subject.” (Dr. Lea Ladegaard Gronkjaer)


Proper Dental Hygiene Prevents Liver Disease Deaths

In the study presented at The International Liver Congress in Amsterdam, 184 cirrhosis patients had their oral health assessed. Almost half of this population (44%) of cirrhosis patients were also diagnosed with severe gum disease. The researchers followed up for a year, on average, and during this period almost half of the participants have died. Their analyses showed severe periodontitis as a condition linked with higher mortality rates from all causes and significantly attributable to complications of cirrhosis after taking into account various risk factors.


In addition to its links to cirrhosis, periodontitis has also been found by previous studies to be associated with cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. It has also been shown to increase the risks of dementia.


But, periodontitis is preventable by observing proper oral hygiene. The implication that proper dental hygiene prevents liver disease deaths and other serious health conditions should be more than enough motivation to be diligent in brushing and flossing your teeth every day.

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