Gum Disease Associated With Mental Health Conditions
A recent study conducted in the UK suggests that poor dental health may cause mental health problems and autoimmune, cardiovascular, and cardiometabolic diseases. People who experience gum health problems should be especially aware of these conditions. As CDC points out, around half of the people aged 30 and over suffer from gum disease, while the percentage of those older than 65 and over is about 70%.
To examine how gum disease and its mild form, gingivitis, impact non-dental health, the research team found 64,379 adults with periodontal disease. About one-third of the participants were smokers. The researchers monitored the health condition of each participant. To examine the likelihood of developing more health issues, they compared the participants’ health data and those of a control group with the same demographic characteristics who did not suffer from gum disease.
The most notable link in the examination was found between gum disease and mental function problems. For instance, around one-third of the study’s participants developed depression and anxiety, which led the study’s authors to believe that dental problems may affect mental health. Moreover, about one-third of the participants developed an autoimmune disease.
The research team also discovered that individuals with periodontal disease have greater chances of contracting heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiometabolic diseases. Dr. Raindi, one of the study’s authors, believes other factors contribute to developing gum disease, for example, smoking habits, age, financial status, and ethnic background.
Nevertheless, this study has certain limitations. One of them is the failure to determine the exact moment when the participants developed gum disease. In line with that, the research team found it challenging to demonstrate whether every form of this disease may lead to health problems since some forms are chronic. However, the research team believes that any form of gum disease may worsen one’s health. All things considered, one way to avoid major health problems is following a good oral hygiene routine.
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