Research published on January 25, 2016, by PLOS One, a peer-reviewed journal, leads scientists to discover a new association of gingival bleeding to asthma, and confirms the association of gingival bleeding to other respiratory diseases and disorders.
A postal questionnaire was sent out to seven northern European areas, and responses were received from over 13,000 people. Many questions were asked, including if gum bleeding was present when brushing either always or often, and including being asked if they had asthma, respiratory symptoms, or self-reported chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). A “significant association” was found between gingival bleeding and adverse respiratory health. Again, for the first time, an association was found between gingival bleeding and asthma. This significant association was found to be even greater among those who smoke.
Considering gingival bleeding, it is an indicator of periodontal disease. Research shows that up to 40% of the population has periodontal disease. Previous research has shown an association between periodontal disease and diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, atherosclerosis (a circulation system disease), rheumatoid arthritis, and COPD, among others. Research has indicated this association with these diseases is caused by systemic inflammation resulting from the periodontal disease.
With this new association found between gingival bleeding and asthma, the cause is currently unknown. However, researchers hypothesize that oral pathogens may transport from oral to airway mucosae, or tissue surfaces. This new finding will prompt more research for sure.
For now, it may be wise to consider a more aggressive approach to meticulous oral hygiene procedures in those patients who have asthma. It is also wise to maintain preventive visits to your dentist at least every six months.
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