Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Surprising new study shows periodontal disease affects young adults, boosts pregnancy problems

21.09.2005


Periodontal disease -- a progressive, eventually painful and disruptive condition in which bacteria attack gums and the hidden roots of teeth -- develops much earlier than dentists and other health professionals thought, a major new study concludes.



Clinicians found a significant proportion of young adult patients examined had well-established periodontal disease despite no signs or symptoms. Affected pregnant women faced more than twice the risk of preterm birth and other pregnancy complications as unaffected women, the research also revealed.

Data from the unique set of clinical studies, conducted at the universities of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Kentucky were released Tuesday (Sept. 20) at a news conference during the annual meeting of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in Boston.


As part of a continuing group of related investigations, the research is the first in-depth look over time at the condition in wisdom teeth -- the four rearmost teeth in the head and jaw, also known as third molars -- in young adults.

"About seven years ago, we were asked to spearhead a series of clinical trials to look at what happens if you keep your wisdom teeth and what happens if you have them taken out," said study leader Dr. Raymond P. White Jr., former dean and Dalton L. McMichael professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the UNC School of Dentistry.

"Part of the reason was that research at UNC and elsewhere showed that the inflammation in the mouth that periodontal infections cause promoted inflammation in other parts of the body, which contributed in significant ways to coronary artery disease, stroke, kidney disease and obstetric complications," White said. "Another reason was that there has been an increased emphasis on evidence-based medicine over the past decade or so."

The team collected baseline data on about 400 people who planned to keep their wisdom teeth. Researchers now have more than two years of follow-up information on 254 of them and plan to continue the work for at least five years.

"That a quarter of patients in their 20s had periodontal problems with no symptoms was a surprise to us since most people assumed that you don’t get periodontal problems until you are 35 or 40," White said. "But nobody had looked at wisdom teeth systematically before in a large study like this."

In the evaluation of data from 1,020 higher-risk obstetrics patients enrolled in a National Institutes of Health-sponsored clinical trial, 18 percent delivered preterm, he said. Wisdom teeth were a major contributor to the young women’s periodontal disease, and the severity of their disease clearly corresponded with the risk of preterm delivery. It also corresponded with indicators of systemic inflammation, such as elevated C-reactive protein, a substance produced by the liver in response to inflammation anywhere in the body.

Women with the worst periodontal disease around their 3rd molars had more than twice the risk of preterm birth, researchers found. The danger to pregnant women was comparable to the risks of smoking during pregnancy, the surgeon added. Since untreated periodontal disease in effect "seeds" the bloodstream with disease-causing bacteria, it’s important that dentists, obstetricians and other physicians assess wisdom teeth when examining young adults, he said.

"Although most people eventually will develop pathology with wisdom teeth, periodontal disease, pericoronitis or tooth decay, it is too early to recommend strongly that everyone has their wisdom teeth removed," White said. "It is a good idea to have your 3rd molars evaluated before age 25. But since a quarter of people will never have problems with them, a lot depends on how risk-averse one is as to whether their third molars with no detected pathology should be extracted as a precaution."

Besides White, lead clinical investigators were Drs. George H. Blakey, associate clinical professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery, and Steven Offenbacher, ORA Pharma Distinguished professor of periodontics, both at UNC; Dr. Richard H. Haug, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery and assistant dean of dentistry at Kentucky; and Dr. Robert D. Marciani, chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Cincinnati’s College of Medicine.

Support for the research came from the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Foundation, the Dental Foundation of North Carolina and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

David Williamson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>