Indian-origin medic explores gum and kidney disease link in UK study

LONDON: An imbalance of the body’s oxygen producing free radicals and its antioxidant cells could be the reason why gum disease and chronic kidney disease affect each other, a new study by an Indian-origin medic in the UK has found.
Periodontitis – or gum disease – is a common, inflammatory disease which causes bleeding gums, wobbly or drifting teeth and can eventually result in tooth loss.
Previous studies have shown a link between the severe oral inflammation caused by gum disease and chronic kidney disease (CKD), which demonstrated that those with worse inflammation of the gums have worse kidney function.
In the latest study led by Dr Praveen Sharma at the University of Birmingham, over 700 patients with chronic kidney disease were examined using detailed oral and full-body examinations including blood samples.
The aim was to test the hypothesis that periodontal inflammation and kidney function affect each other and to establish the underlying mechanism that may facilitate this.
“This is the first paper to quantify the causal effect of periodontitis on kidney function and vice-versa as well as the first to elucidate the pathways involved,” said Sharma, from the Periodontal Research Group at the university’s School of Dentistry.
“It showed that even a modest reduction in gum inflammation can benefit renal function. Given the relative ease of achieving a 10 per cent reduction in gum inflammation, through simple measures like correct brushing techniques and cleaning between the teeth, these results are very interesting,” he said.
Previous research has also shown that patients with CKD and periodontitis experience a drop in survival rates, similar in magnitude to if they had diabetes instead of gum inflammation, suggesting that gum inflammation may casually affect kidney function. (AGENCIES)