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Oral Infections and Life Expectancy

A study based in Sweden addressed the issue of periodontal disease as a risk marker for mortality. This study evaluated the relationship between periodontitis and premature death 16 years after the diagnosis of periodontitis. The individuals in this study had a long history of chronic inflammation and a heavy microbial burden. The host defect system may have been weak.

Results confirmed that periodontitis in young adults with missing molars is a risk marker for premature death. The prematurely deceased women in the study died 36.1 years sooner than life expectancy and the deceased men 31.6 years sooner. Young individuals with periodontitis and missing molars seem to be at increased risk for premature death by life-threatening diseases, such as neoplasms, and diseases of the circulatory and digestive systems. Therefore, reducing the bacterial burden of affected individuals and identifying the bacteria responsible for the diseases causing death in these subjects are critical.

Soder B. Opportunities for advancing dental hygiene research; Periodontitis and premature death: a longitudinal, prospective clinical trial. Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene. Sept. 2009.

Soder, B. et al; Periodontitis and premature death: a 16-year longitudinal study in a Swedish urban population. J Periodont Res. 42(4): 361-366, 2007.

Next: Oral-Systemic Research Articles


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