Gum disease increases the risk of mental health problems by 37%


Collaborative study1,2 Medical records 64,379 people found that patients with periodontal disease had a 37% higher risk of developing mental health disease. A research team from the University of Birmingham also found that 60,995 had gingivitis and 3,384 had periodontitis.3 Data from these individuals were compared with 251,161 healthy individuals without any data on gum disease.4

The researchers took into account confusing factors such as smoking habits, ethnicity and body mass index. In addition to determining the number of people with and without gum disease who also had mental illness, they analyzed data to determine the number in the same groups that developed cardiovascular disease, cardiometabolic disorders, or autoimmune conditions.5

Gum disease increases the risk of mental health disorders

They found that patients with a history of gum disease at the start of the study were more likely to be diagnosed with one of the health conditions in the next three years compared to healthy controls. The risk of mental health diseases increased by 37%, autoimmune diseases by 33%, and cardiovascular diseases by 18%.

The lowest-risk health condition was cardiometabolic disorder, which increased by 7% and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes by 26%. One of the researchers, Dr. Joht Singh Chandan from the University of Birmingham, commented on the results of the study and the importance of the information in a press release, saying:6

“Poor oral health is extremely common, both here in the UK and around the world. When oral disease progresses, it can lead to a significantly reduced quality of life. However, not much has been known so far about the link between poor oral health and many chronic diseases. , especially mental illness.

We conducted one of the largest epidemiological studies of its kind to date, using UK primary health care data to investigate the association between periodontal disease and several chronic conditions.

We have found evidence that periodontal disease appears to be associated with an increased risk of developing these associated chronic diseases. As periodontal diseases are very common, the increased risk of other chronic diseases can be a significant burden on public health. “

One researcher also noted that the results suggest that effective communication between dental professionals and primary care providers could help improve treatment plans that focus on oral health and overall patient health.

Common types of gum disease

Since 2009, data on the prevalence of periodontal disease (right meat) in the United States show that between 30% and 47% of the US population has some degree of periodontal disease,7,8,9 which has been called a growing epidemic.10

In their study, researchers from Birmingham included patients who had either gingivitis or periodontal disease,11 the two largest diagnoses of gum disease. The data revealed an association with health conditions associated with the inflammatory response. Others have found that this mechanism is also linked to neurodegenerative diseases and some cancers,12 which may be due to a chronic inflammatory response in the body.

Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease.13 Your gums become red and swollen. They also bleed easily when brushing or using floss. If left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. In this condition, the plaque spreads below the gum line. Bacteria produce toxins that irritate the gum tissue and cause an inflammatory reaction.

As the disease progresses, the gums separate from the teeth. The growth of bacteria in these pockets helps destroy more gum tissue and the bones that support the teeth. Eventually your teeth may loosen and fall out. Other types of periodontal disease include:

  • Aggressive periodontitis – This is a destructive disease that includes more teeth, rapid progression, early onset and the absence of systemic disease.14
  • Gingivitis in pregnancy – It occurs during pregnancy and is associated with hormonal changes associated with pregnancy.15 Changes in what you eat during pregnancy and the amount of saliva produced can also increase your risk of gingivitis.
  • pericoronitis – This condition is common in adults between the ages of 17 and 24. It occurs where wisdom teeth usually come through the gums and is triggered by an infection over or around a partially erupted tooth.16 This leaves a fold of tissue that can collect food particles and result in infection. The best preventative strategy is to brush and floss regularly.
  • Desquamative gingivitis – This is a rare and painful type of periodontal disease that affects the outer layers of the gums. The tissue looks red, glazed and easily torn, which causes bleeding.17 It can be caused by pemphigoid mucosa (MMP), oral lichen planus and pemphigus vulgaris. Endocrine disorders, such as those during menopause, can also cause this condition.

The data also link gum disease to an increase in chronic disease

Caroline Aylott of Versus Arthritis, commented on the importance of the results of the Birmingham study because they relate to patients with arthritis, especially autoimmune conditions. She said:18

One of the biggest challenges of arthritis, especially autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affecting 400,000 people in the UK, is the ability to know who is at greater risk of developing and finding ways to prevent it. Previous studies have shown that people with RA have four they are times more likely to have gum disease than their non-RA counterparts and are usually more difficult to be.

This research provides additional clear evidence as to why healthcare professionals need to be vigilant about early signs of gum disease and how this can have far-reaching consequences for a person’s health, reinforcing the importance of a holistic approach to treating people. “

Past studies have supported the evidence from the presented study. For example, one study19 published in 2001 with 1412 participants found that 62.5% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis had advanced forms of periodontal disease. They concluded that moderate to severe gum disease increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and vice versa.

Later study20 2010 discussed specific oral bacterial infections that appeared to be associated with RA. The data linking periodontal disease and heart disease are not so consistent. The prominent study found a strong connection, as did other studies21,22 and literature reviews.23,24 However, other works25,26 did not find a positive association.

Several mechanisms have been hypothesized27 explain the link between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. These include infection of atherosclerotic plaques with pathogens in the gums, systemic dissemination of proinflammatory compounds from gum disease, the effect of periodontitis on the lipid profile, or the contribution it makes to the development of type 2 diabetes.

The presented study also revealed a link between gum disease and cardiometabolic disease.28 This is a group of health conditions that increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.29 These are the consequences of metabolic syndrome, which is a set of symptoms that include the following:30

  • Belly fat
  • High blood pressure
  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • High triglycerides
  • Low Density Lipoproteins (HDL)

One study31 evaluated the medical records of 572 industrial workers who had medical and dental records from 2003 to 2012. A cardboard assessment in 2003 showed normal cardiometabolic values.

The researchers then compared the duration of periodontal pockets, a symptom of gum disease, with the progression of cardiometabolic risk factors over nine years. They found that chronic gum disease was significantly associated with these risk factors and suggested that cardiometabolic disease may increase in patients not treated for periodontitis.

Steps to protect gums and brain

Dr. Steven Lin is a dentist who uses holistic approaches to oral health care as well as your overall health. In this short video, he encourages you to think of your mouth as a “guardian” of gut health and as a reminder to keep your gut microbiome balanced and healthy.

Your gums don’t take care of themselves. Consuming processed foods high in carbohydrates increases the growth of bacteria in the mouth and the risk of gum disease. The first step to consider is to optimize your diet for your oral health and mitochondrial function by reducing carbohydrate intake.

American Dental Association32 recommends brushing twice a day with a soft bristle brush and replace that brush every three to four months. You should also regularly floss between your teeth to remove plaque.33 While these are the basic steps to oral care, there are a few more you can take to reduce the growth of bad bacteria and protect your overall health. For example, you will want to:

Monitor the levels of vitamins D, K2, magnesium and calcium – These nutrients work synergistically to protect your gums, teeth and bones. Calcium strengthens your bones and improves overall skeletal health, but only works when it comes to the right place. Vitamin K2 directs calcium to the bone and prevents its deposition along the walls of blood vessels.

According to Lin, K2 helps mediate intestinal inflammation in two ways:34 by reducing fibroblasts that promote gum disease and by activating the Matrix GLA protein which prevents calcification of the periodontal ligament and around the body.

Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of inflammatory diseases and is associated with a higher risk of periodontal disease.35,36 You can maintain optimal levels by reasonable exposure to the sun. If you cannot maintain serum levels37 between 40 ng / mL and 60 ng / mL38 you can consider supplementation.39

Track your vitamin C status – One study40 from the University of Washington found that if your gums are bleeding, you may be deficient in vitamin C. They reviewed data from 15 studies in 6 countries and found that baseline levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) were less than 28 μmol / L, supplementation helped reduce bleeding gums. They concluded:41

“Consistent evidence from controlled clinical trials shows that setting human requirements for AA based on scurvy prevention leads to plasma AA levels that may be too low to prevent an increased tendency to gingival bleeding.

The tendency to gingival haemorrhage and retinal haemorrhage coincide with low plasma AA levels and may therefore be a reflection of systemic microvascular pathology that is reversible with increased daily AA intake. “

Stop using fluoride products – It is important to optimize your oral microbiome. Antibacterial and fluoridated products, such as toothpaste, mouthwash, floss and fluoridated water, negatively affect your oral microbiome.

You don’t want to have a “scorched earth policy” in your mouth, destroying all bacteria and hoping good bugs will come back, says biological dentist Dr. Gerry Curatola, founder of Rejuvenation Dentistry. Good bugs basically have a harder chance of establishing a healthy balanced microbiome when you disturb, denature, or dehydrate them with alcohol- and chemical-based products.42

Consider oil withdrawal – A gentle and easy way to reduce plaque, gingivitis and bad breath is to extract the oil using coconut oil. According to Ayurvedic tradition, oil withdrawal can improve more than 30 systemic diseases including reduced inflammation and bleeding.43

Coconut oil is antibacterial and antiviral and contains 92% saturated fat,44 49% of this is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial saturated medium chain lauric acid.45 A scientific study has also suggested that withdrawing oil with coconut oil reduces plaque formation and reduces the risk of gingivitis.46,47,48


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