Reprinted from the American Academy of Periodontology website.
In a recent study reported in the Journal of Periodontology (JOP), researchers found that a routine medical blood test may also reveal indicators of periodontal diseases.
Researchers examined and measured the oral health of 7,452 men and women, and tested their blood for 37 items used in general blood tests. Some of the items tested for in the blood include cholesterol and C-reactive protein, commonly linked to heart disease; and diabetes. The results of the blood tests were compared against the oral health scores of participants.
The study found that generally if the blood was "healthy," the oral health was also healthy, and if the blood test detected certain "red flags," serious symptoms of periodontal disease were present. Men were reported to have more serious symptoms of periodontal diseases than females. The only item from the blood test that showed a significant relationship with periodontal disease in women was CRP.
Although a specific reason could not be pinpointed, one reason could be that men and women have different endocrine situations, and periodontal diseases are influenced by endocrine conditions.
In the future when patients visit their medical doctors for routine exams and annual blood work is drawn, they may also be referred to a periodontist for a periodontal screening if the blood indicates systemic abnormalities.