Study links poor oral health to higher death rates in patients with liver disease

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A study conducted by researchers in Denmark suggests that poor oral health is likely to increase the risk of complications in patients with liver disease.

A research team from Aarhus University Hospital claimed that bacteria linked to advanced gum disease increases the risk of mortality in patients who suffer from liver disease. Dr Lea Ladegaard Gronkjaer, lead author, stated that data pointed to elevated mortality rates in patients with liver cirrhosis who also suffered from periodontitis (advanced gum disease). Harmful oral bacteria were found to increase the risk of inflammation and complications, which caused symptoms of cirrhosis to become more severe.

The team is hoping that the findings of the study will encourage further trials and more research in this area, as it possible to treat gum disease, and this could prove hugely beneficial to those who have been diagnosed with lover cirrhosis.

Statistics show that the number of cases of liver disease diagnosed in the UK has increased by 400 percent in just 40 years. Health problems related to lifestyle factors, such as obesity and increased alcohol consumption, have been attributed to the significant rise in prevalence of liver disease.

During trials for the study, 184 patients with cirrhosis underwent assessment, and 44 percent were diagnosed with periodontal disease. One year later, the team caught up with the participants again; however, sadly, almost 50 percent had passed away. Death rates were noticeably higher among those who suffered from both liver and gum disease.

The findings of the study were presented at the International Liver Congress in Amsterdam.

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