kidney disease linked to gum disease

Gum Disease & Kidney Disease Connection 

Good dental care is important for everyone, but especially for people with kidney disease. While you may know that both gum disease and kidney disease are bad for your health, did you know that they can be connected? Research has shown that an imbalance of the body’s oxygen-producing free radicals and its antioxidant cells could be the reason why gum disease and chronic kidney disease affect each other.

Gum Disease:

Periodontitis or gum disease is a common, inflammatory disease that causes bleeding gums, wobbly or drifting teeth and can eventually result in tooth loss.

Kidney Disease: 

Your kidneys filter extra water and wastes out of your blood and make urine. Kidney disease means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should.

The Connection:

Previous studies have shown a link between the severe oral inflammation caused by gum disease and chronic kidney disease (CKD) which demonstrated that those with worse inflammation of the gums have worse kidney function.

In a recent study, results showed that a 10% increase in gum inflammation reduces kidney function by 3%. In this group of patients studied, that 3% of worsening in kidney function would translate to an increase in the risk of kidney failure over a 5-year period from 32%-34%. 


Medical research has already documented a link between cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease. This connection to kidney disease is now another reminder about how important it is to take care of your oral health. Brushing and flossing twice a day and visiting your dentist regularly for professional cleanings removes harmful bacteria, which reduces your risks for gum disease.  

At the Pennsylvania Center for Periodontology, we want to help you keep your gums healthy for better oral and overall health! You can learn more about gum disease risks by visiting our Resource Page and contacting us to schedule an appointment for a full periodontal evaluation. 

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