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 WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

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: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>