New reports confirm link between gum disease and systemic diseases
CHICAGO, Ill., USA: In collaboration with the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has released a series of consensus reports that provide scientific evidence of a close association between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The reports also provide helpful information to dentists for treating patients at risk of certain medical conditions.
The special supplement was compiled during the EFP and AAP's joint workshop on periodontology. It includes reports from the four working groups, which convened at a symposium held in November last year in Segovia, Spain. More than 90 international experts met to review current epidemiological data and trial results of the link between periodontitis and other systemic diseases with the aim of translating the state of the science into specific recommendations for practitioners, policymakers and the public.
The scientists found strong epidemiological evidence that periodontitis increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, among other findings. They therefore recommended that dentists discuss risk factors, including hypertension and obesity, with their patients. They also found a link between periodontitis and an increased risk of diabetes. They recommended that comprehensive periodontal evaluations thus form part of ongoing diabetes treatment. Moreover, the scientists were able to establish a link between maternal periodontitis and adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, there was only insufficient evidence to recommend periodontal therapy as a means to improve pregnancy outcomes.
According to Dr. Robert Genco from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, co-chair of the workshop organization committee, nearly half of U.S. adults have periodontitis. "Therefore, it is imperative that patients be made aware of their increased risk of systemic diseases," he said.
The full reports can be found online in the current edition of the Journal of Periodontology. They will also be published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology. The research was supported by an educational grant from Colgate-Palmolive.
An overview and conclusions of the workshop will be presented at the EFP press conference on May 4 at the International Osteology Symposium in Monaco.