According to researchers from Aston University, chronic kidney disease patients can reduce their chances of succumbing to heart disease by treating a common gum condition. This finding can potentially save many lives, as over 10% of the adult population in America have CKD. Not only does chronic kidney disease worsen the function of the kidneys, but it can also lead to high blood pressure, progressive vascular injury, and even heart disease.

The recent research conducted suggests that chronic inflammatory conditions are linked to increased mortality in people afflicted with chronic kidney disease. In fact, more than 85% of people with chronic kidney disease also have inflammatory gum conditions, according to previous studies. Usually, the inflammatory gum conditions are caused by the accumulation of dental plaque between the gum margin and teeth. The condition is often worsened by impaired immunity and the slow healing of wounds. An example of such a chronic inflammatory condition is periodontics, which leads to gum inflammation, loss of bones in the mouth, and tooth loss.

It has been found that bacteria in the mouths of patients with periodontal conditions can enter the bloodstream. These bacteria can lead to the malfunction of blood cells, the formation of blood clots, and the narrowing of the arteries.

Dr. Irundika Dias, an academic from Aston, has plans to lead a study investigating the underlying cause of increased occurrence of cardiovascular disease in patients with CKD and inflammatory gum conditions. She will also investigate whether successfully treating inflammatory gum conditions leads to the reduction of both oxidized lipids and the number of inflammatory cells in patients with chronic kidney disease. If she finds that treating inflammatory gum conditions does lead to these two outcomes, she will be a step closer to concluding that the treatment of inflammatory gum conditions lowers a patient’s risk of suffering from a possibly fatal heart disease.