Gum disease treatment may improve symptoms in cirrhosis patients
Study finds routine oral care alters gut bacteria and reduces inflammation and cognitive problems
Routine oral care to treat gum disease (periodontitis) may play a role in reducing inflammation and toxins in the blood (endotoxemia) and improving cognitive function in people with liver cirrhosis. The study is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology — Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.
Cirrhosis, which is a growing epidemic in the U.S., is the presence of scar tissue on the liver. When severe, it can lead to liver failure. Complications of cirrhosis can include infections throughout the body and hepatic encephalopathy, a buildup of toxins in the brain caused by advanced liver disease. Symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy include confusion, mood changes and impaired cognitive function.
Previous research shows that people with cirrhosis have changes in gut and salivary microbiota — bacteria that populate the gastrointestinal tract and mouth — which can lead to gum disease and a higher risk of cirrhosis-related complications. In addition, studies have found that people with cirrhosis have increased levels of inflammation throughout the body, which is associated with hepatic encephalopathy.
Researchers studied two groups of volunteers that had cirrhosis and mild-to-moderate periodontitis. One group received periodontal care (“treated”), including teeth cleaning and removal of bacteria toxins from the teeth and gums. The other group was not treated for gum disease (“untreated”). The research team collected blood, saliva and stool samples before and 30 days after treatment. Each volunteer took standardized tests to measure cognitive function before and after treatment.
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Shared from: Sciencedaily.com