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A Simple Blood Test Can Predict Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bones supporting the teeth. // New research shows a blood test can not only reveal the general health of patients but may also predict periodontal disease risk.

Researchers from Japan studied more than 7,450 men and women. Participants received general blood tests that checked for 37 items, including cholesterol and C-reactive protein, which are commonly linked to heart disease and diabetes. Researchers compared the results of the blood tests to the oral health of the participants by using the community periodontal index score. CPI represents periodontal disease indicators that relate to the condition.

Results of the study show a correlation between general blood test results and CPI scores. Patients who had normal blood scores for general health also had normal oral health scores. The opposite was also true. Those who had abnormal blood test scores were more likely to have poor oral health.

Results show men were more likely than women to report serious symptoms of periodontal diseases. Researchers say they are uncertain why this gender difference exists but say one reason could be men and women have different endocrine situations, which influence periodontal disease. Researchers also found a strong relationship between C-reactive protein and periodontal disease in women. Previous studies have shown C-reactive protein values dropped significantly after periodontal treatment.

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