MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mr Praveen Sharma BDS, MJDF (RCS Eng.), FHEA
NIHR Doctoral Research Fellow
Clinical Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry
University of Birmingham School of Dentistry
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Mr. Sharma: There is robust evidence that patients with severe gum disease have higher levels of background inflammation in their bodies as a result and if the gum disease is treated that inflammation reduces. Therefore it appears that severe gum disease may be a “co-morbidity” for other chronic non-communicable diseases of ageing. The idea for this study was born out of some on-going research at the University of Birmingham, in collaboration with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Renal Research team, investigating the links between gum disease (periodontitis) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). We found that patients with CKD were more likely to have periodontitis and severe periodontitis compared to a local, control population. Also, patients with CKD and worse periodontal health were more likely to have worse kidney and vascular function compared to those with better periodontal health. These findings led us to believe that periodontitis might be associated with increased mortality in patients with CKD, which is why we performed the current study. The current study confirmed our hypothesis.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Mr. Sharma: We found that the mortality rate of patients with CKD increased by 28% over a 10 year period if they also had periodontitis. Surprisingly, this increase is similar to that seen in patients with CKD who have diabetes instead of periodontitis.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Mr. Sharma: The main message from this study is that diseases in one part of the body, such as the mouth, have the potential to influence other parts of the body and ultimately the person as a whole. Periodontitis is common, and severe disease affects 11% of adults globally. It is preventable and also treatable, but the mouth is often ignored in this context.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Mr. Sharma: It is yet to be seen whether the treatment of periodontitis has a beneficial impact on the general health and lifespan or indeed quality of life for patients with CKD and that research in underway at the University of Birmingham’s Dental School, funded by the NHS.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Mr. Sharma: Like all clinical researchers, our ultimate aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and we are grateful to our volunteer patients, without whom, this work would not be possible.
J Clin Periodontol. 2016 Feb;43(2):104-13. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12502. Epub 2016 Feb 18.
Association between periodontitis and mortality in stages 3-5 chronic kidney disease: NHANES III and linked mortality study.
Sharma P1, Dietrich T1, Ferro CJ2, Cockwell P2, Chapple IL1.