Research showing that gum disease and other key illnesses are interrelated has received a far-reaching boost with the publication of a special supplement on the subject in Europe’s influential Journal of Clinical Periodontology.
An April special of the official journal of the European Federation of Periodontology spotlights work investigating “associations between periodontitis and systemic diseases, in particular cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.”
This supplement details the work of the EFP – AAP Workshop in Periodontology, featuring reports from the four working groups which formed the backbone of this crucial symposium held in November 2012 in La Granja (Segovia), Spain.
More than 80 leading scientists from Europe and the USA met to assess the strength of “the science (biological mechanisms, epidemiological data and results of intervention trials)”, dividing their work into groups covering the links between periodontal disease and 1) cardiovascular disease; 2) diabetes; 3) adverse pregnancy outcomes, and 4) other diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, pulmonary diseases, cancer…).
The final reports by those analysing the evidence recognise consistent and convincing cases for the interrelation of periodontal disease with both diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The scientists concur on the general health benefits which can be gained by periodontal treatment, as well as on the need for extensive future research in all areas, and particularly for a clearer picture of how periodontitis might affect the fetoplacental unit in mothers-to-be. The experts involved, all acknowledged leaders in academic periodontology worldwide, have oultined a series of recommendations not only for professionals but also for requirements in future research.
These recommendations have triggered a major international awareness campaign by the European Federation of Periodontology, and sponsored by Colgate, in an attempt to widen the focus on the general health implications of gum disease by professionals, public and, significantly, other medical professionals. Using tools such as a news portal , a manifesto, an informative video, and vigorous channelling through all major dental events, the campaign aims high enough to seek both a change in professional attitudes and a paradigm shift in dentistry towards the overall health of the individual and society.