A newly published meta-analysis shows lupus is significantly associated with periodontitis. While people with lupus were found to have a higher chance of developing some related complications (higher prevalence of bleeding on probing and clinical attachment loss), the study did not detect an association between lupus and overall severity of periodontitis.
The analysis included 10 different studies, including five Asian, three European and two African American populations, all together pooling data from 80,633 study subjects. Participants across the studies ranged in average age from about 15 to 50 years-old and were predominantly female. The researchers conducted a subgroup analysis of female participants and found a significant association between lupus and periodontitis in this population as well.
These latest findings underscore the link between lupus and periodontitis and draws into further question if and how this relationship may be causal in nature. Many studies have indicated lupus may lead to a higher risk of periodontitis, and oral infection is also a common side effect of corticosteroids and immunosuppressants used in lupus treatment. However, it’s also possible periodontal disease may lead to the development of lupus, and the authors conclude maintaining good oral health may be a simple and economical way to prevent the autoimmune disease. Learn about the oral care connection in lupus.