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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2017

science | oral and systemic health Periodontal health and systemic conditions A correlation between periodontal disease, heart disease, infertility and diabetes has been established in various studies. Prevention provides an overview of recent evidence and hypotheses. AUTHOR: DENTAL TRIBUNE INTERNATIONAL 1 Breast cancer 2 Stroke A 2015 study published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomark- ers and Prevention journal found that postmenopausal women with periodontal disease are at a significantly increased risk of developing breast cancer. One possibility is that systemic inflammation may arise due to periodontal disease and may then affect the breast tissue. Another possible explanation is that oral bacteria may enter the circulatory system and thereby affect breast tissue. Given that tooth loss and other oral health conditions are considered to be risk factors for stroke, Dr George S. Sfyro- eras and a team of researchers investigated the relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. Published in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery, their statistical analysis of several studies on this topic found that the risk of stroke in periodontal patients was higher than in those without this condition. 3 Pneumonia 4 Diabetes A study presented at IDWeek 2016 in New Orleans in the US found that regular (twice a year) visits to the dentist could lower the risk of contracting pneumonia from certain forms of oral bacteria. The study, conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University in the US, found that there was an 86 per cent increase in the risk of contracting pneumonia for people who never had dental check-ups in comparison with those with regular appointments. A recent Perio-Diabetes Workshop jointly held by the European Federation of Periodontology and the International Diabetes Federation highlighted that periodontal patients are more likely to develop prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes and that research has demonstrated an association between an altered glucose metabolism in diabetics and changes in the periodontal micro- biome. However, improving control of a patient’s diabetes might be beneficial to his or her periodontal health and vice versa. 5 Liver disease 6 Infertility/premature birth In a study presented at the 2017 International Liver Congress in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Danish researchers found that severe periodontitis is linked to a higher mortality rate in patients with cirrhosis. Previous studies have suggested that periodontitis is involved in the progression of liver disease and that it negatively affects the outcome of liver transplantation. A 2012 study published in the Human Reproduction journal found that women with periodontal disease took, on aver- age, two months longer to conceive than those without the disease. The researchers added that, even if a periodontal patient does become pregnant, there might be a greater risk of premature birth. 20 issue #1

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