Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cirrhosis and Gum Disease

Dentistry is a crucial part of overall health. At Southern Cross Dental in Colorado Springs, we enjoy keeping up with the latest developments in our field. Recent research has indicated that gum disease is closely tied to diseases elsewhere in the body, and now scientists have found evidence that treating it can relieve symptoms of cirrhosis.

The liver filters toxic substances out of the body, but it can become inflamed. When chronic inflammation causes it to scar over, this is called cirrhosis, and it causes inflammation throughout the body. People with cirrhosis have been observed to have decreased cognitive function as a result of brain inflammation. It was initially unsurprising that cirrhosis patients have unusually high rates of gum disease, since both can be caused by smoking and alcohol use, but studies also found higher rates of gum disease in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, suggesting a direct relationship. Bacteria that cause gum disease have also been found in the liver.

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University investigated whether cirrhosis symptoms would improve if patients received treatment for gum disease. They found that, following treatment, cirrhosis patients had better cognitive function and increased levels of gut bacteria that fight inflammation. While we are awaiting more research, we have another reason to emphasize why it is so important for people to brush and floss regularly and to encourage people to come to our office to get inflamed gums treated.

Drs. Navid and Faranak Rahimpour operate Southern Cross Dental at 1855 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80905-2516. To schedule an appointment, call 719-471-1717 or visit Southern Cross Family Dentistry and fill out a contact sheet.


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