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Liver affected by poor oral health

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Many previous researches have proved the connection between periodontitis to cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and respiratory problems.

According to a new research carried out at the Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark poor oral health, common in 35% adults, can promote oral bacterial translocation and prove fatal for patients with liver disease.

Death rates from cirrhosis are higher among patients having periodontitis, caused by inflammation of bacteria onto the gums and resulting in weakening of the tissues and little pockets in the bone.

Dr Lea Ladegaard Gronkjaer, lead author of the study, said: “Our study showed severe periodontitis strongly predicted higher mortality in cirrhosis.

“Periodontitis may act as a persistent source of oral bacterial translocation, causing inflammation and increasing cirrhosis complications.

“As it can be treated successfully, however, we hope our findings motivate more trials on this subject.”

During the research 184 cirrhosis patients’ oral health was assessed, with 44% being diagnosed with gum disease. A year later, around half of the patients had died.

As per the study presented at The International Liver Congress in Amsterdam, one to two percent of deaths in Europe are caused due to cirrhosis.

During the last 40 years deaths due to liver disease have increased by 400 percent in the UK, with the main sources being contracting hepatitis, obesity and growing rates of alcohol abuse. Public Health England says as compared to other EU countries, deaths due to liver disease is drastically increasing in England.

It is estimated that in the US around 100,000 people die from chronic liver disease, and in the UK this number is more than 11,000. In 2014 the number of people who died due to liver disease in England increased to 11,597. This upsurge is in comparison to the decline in other major causes of disease.

The average life of a liver disease patient is 57 years, more than 20 years lesser than a person dying due to cancer, heart disease or stroke.

As a result a nationwide awareness campaign is to be arranged by the Government, as suggested by the British Liver Trust, regarding the ‘ticking time bomb’, and letting people know that early diagnosis can save NHS £600 million per year.

According to NHS, “Liver disease is on the increase in England with a 20% increase in cases over the last decade. The disease develops silently and many people have no idea there’s anything wrong until they develop liver failure and it’s too late.”

April 25, 2017

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