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GERD Linked To Gum Disease

Gum disease periodontitis GERD acid reflux

Poor diet causes low stomach in aging adults and sets the groundwork for Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. According to recent research, GERD and progressive gum disease are linked.


Chronic periodontitis, the most advanced form of gum disease, progresses slowly and typically appears in adulthood. While inflammation has been cited as the result of a bacterial infection in periodontal disease, other factors influence the severity of the disease, namely acid reflux or GERD.

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Periodontitis Becoming Increasingly More Common

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) referenced a study entitled Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States. The study surmised that for 2009 and 2010 estimated that 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis -- the more advanced form of periodontal disease. In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent.

Poor Hygiene Is Not The Only Thing Responsible for Periodontitis

The most common cause of chronic periodontitis is poor oral hygiene. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) enhances the proximal migration of gastric contents and may cause poor oral hygiene. Researchers hypothesized that GERD may increase the risk of chronic periodontitis. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that is characterized by classic symptoms of heartburn causing a burning sensation in the chest and upper abdomen. This rise of acid into the mouth has researchers investigating a link to chronic gum recession.

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Linking GERD and Chronic Periodontitis

A study published in the journal Gut and Liver, examined the relationship between GERD and Chronic Periodontitis. The retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted in outpatients between January 1, 2010, and April 30, 2012. GERD was defined as being present. A total of 280 patients with chronic periodontitis and 280 controls were analyzed. Information regarding patient demographics and other potential confounding factors for chronic periodontitis were collected through individual medical records.

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GERD Strongly Associated With Gum Disease

GERD was revealed to be independently associated with an increased incidence of chronic periodontitis. The other three variables of dental caries, tobacco use, and history of medication (calcium channel blocker, cyclosporine, or phenytoin) were also determined to be independent risk factors.

From this study, researchers concluded that GERD can be a major risk factor for chronic periodontitis.