A recent study published in Scientific reports Examining the association between gingivitis and allergic rhinitis (AR).
Stady: Unique inverse association between allergic rhinitis and periodontitis: a nationwide population study. Image credit: Lightspring/Shutterstock.com
AR causes sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and associated ocular symptoms (eye redness and watering). Airborne allergens are the most common triggers for AR.
The incidence of AR has increased in the past decade in South Korea, in part due to increased levels of fine dust. Nasal congestion is a common symptom of AR and can lead to mouth breathing.
Mouth breathing has been reported to cause adverse effects by altering saliva and normal oral flora, resulting in bad breath, gingivitis, and altered dental and facial development. Periodontitis is associated with an increased index of gingivitis among patients with mouth breathing.
Thus, there could be an association between nasal congestion-induced mouth breathing and periodontal disease in AR patients.
Study and results
The current study investigated the associations between periodontitis and AR in South Korea. The team included 6,129 adults over the age of 19.
They obtained data on education level, income, smoking/alcohol status, history of periodontitis treatment (HTP), body mass index (BMI), and other medical history.
The study population was well balanced with regard to gender, and their average age was 46.9. About 23% of the participants were smokers, and 59.3% reported consuming alcohol at least once a month. More than 50% of the group had higher education after secondary school. Hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis were the most common systemic diseases.
Approximately 52% of the study population reported using an additional oral hygiene device. HTP was documented for 22.8% of the participants, and AR was reported in 15.3%. Significant differences in age, education level, history of DM, hypertension, AR, and osteoporosis were observed between the HTP and non-HTP groups.
Specifically, there were significantly more participants with an AR diagnosis in the non-HTP group (17.5%) than in the HTP group (11%). The researchers estimated that the risk of developing gum disease in people with RA without a diagnosis of AR was 1.5 times higher than in those diagnosed with AR.
Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed a significant association between HTP, higher education level, and AR or osteoporosis diagnosis. HTP was not associated with age, body mass index, alcohol status, or diagnosis of hypertension/DM.
In a subanalysis, the authors noted a significant association between AR and HTP among individuals under 65 years of age, which was not observed for those over 65 years of age.
Taken together, the results indicate that HTP was less prevalent among participants with a history of AR, indicating a lower risk of developing periodontitis, particularly among those younger than 65 years of age.
This was consistent with a study that reported an inverse association between allergic respiratory disease and periodontitis. Higher education was associated with a lower risk of periodontitis, while osteoporosis was associated with a higher risk.