Thursday, December 27, 2018

Gum Disease and Cirrhosis

Bacterial infections in the mouth are bad news for the rest of the body. But that also means dental cleanings can have unexpected benefits. At the general dentistry practice of Holmdel’s Dr. Dipika Shah, we see ourselves as a crucial part of each patient’s medical care team. We’re excited to share news that gum disease treatments may be able to ease symptoms of cirrhosis.

Each of us depends on our liver to filter toxic substances from our blood. If it becomes chronically inflamed, it may become covered in scar tissue and be unable to do that. People with cirrhosis are suffering from liver scarring, and as a result, they have increased inflammation throughout their bodies, including in their brains. Their temperament and cognitive function can be impaired as a result. People with cirrhosis also have elevated rates of gum disease, and while the two share some common causes, gum infections are also unusually common in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and gum disease-causing bacteria have been found in livers.

Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University recently conducted an experiment to determine how gum disease treatments affect people with cirrhosis. Their finding was that patients who received treatment had better cognition and higher counts of anti-inflammatory gut bacteria than cirrhosis patients whose dental treatments were delayed. We hope that any of our patients who are late for a deep cleaning will take this as a reminder of how much better a person can feel after visiting the dentist.

Dr. Dipika Shah, Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, operates at 723 N Beers St, Suite 2F, Holmdel, New Jersey, 07733-1512. To schedule an appointment, call 732-264-8180 or visit Dentist NJ and fill out a contact form.


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