A study found out that periodontitis increases the mortality risk of those people who have cirrhosis. The research team reported that the mortality risk might still be decreased since periodontitis could be treated.

According to Science News Line, a team from Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark assessed 184 cirrhosis patients’ oral health and found out that 44% have the gum disease, periodontitis. An estimated half of those patients were said to have died a year later. Hence, the study concluded that people with periodontitis have increased the risks of those with cirrhosis.

“Periodontitis may act as a persistent source of oral bacterial translocation, causing inflammation and increasing cirrhosis complications. As it can be treated successfully, however, we hope our findings motivate more trials on this subject,” the study lead author, Dr. Lea Ladegaard Gronkjaer explained at the International Liver Congress, the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL).

The patients that have cirrhosis and periodontitis were studied for a total of 74,197 days, or an average of 350 days per patient. Gronkjaer was also reported to take into account demographic factors such things as age, sex, cirrhosis etiology, smoking, alcohol use, and comorbidities before assessing the patients.

She noted that there are differences between those patients that have severe cirrhosis and those who doesn’t. Those with alcoholic etiology and current or former smokers has a severe case of the liver disease. While those who has lesser cirrhosis likely has an autoimmune or cholestatic etiology and less likely to have never smoked per Med Page Today.

Nonetheless, Philip Newsome, MD, a member of the EASL governing board, who was not part of the study mentioned that further research was needed to conclude whether improving gum health could improve people undergoing liver cirrhosis. Gronkjaer also noted that periodontitis was also linked to cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. She also concluded that poor oral health is common to those that have cirrhosis.