Poor oral health tied to higher risk for Ménière’s disease

Ménière's disease and oral health
Photo: andreypopov 123rfM

Poor oral health may increase the incidence of Ménière’s disease, according to a Korean study.

A team from Mokdong Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, examined the association between oral health and Ménière’s disease, publishing their findings in the Journal of Personalized Medicine

Participant data were retrieved from the National Health Insurance Database of the Korean National Health Insurance Service. The analysis included 2.24 million adults undergoing oral health screening by dentists in 2003 with a median 16.7 years of follow-up.

The researchers found that 5.0 per cent of participants developed Ménière’s disease. There were significant associations observed between poor oral health status (periodontitis: adjusted hazard ratio, 1.18) and an increased number of missing teeth (≥15: adjusted hazard ratio, 1.25), which was associated with an increased risk for Ménière’s disease.

There was an inverse association seen between better oral hygiene behaviours (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.75 and 0.98 for frequent tooth brushing of at least three times a day and dental scaling within one year, respectively) and occurrence of Ménière’s disease. A subgroup analysis showed that periodontitis was more strongly associated with Ménière’s disease in younger subgroups and subgroups with low body mass index.

“The main findings of the present study were that periodontitis and increased tooth loss were correlated with an increased risk of the occurrence of Ménière’s disease,” the authors wrote. 

“Our [subgroup analysis] findings suggested that, although Ménière’s disease and periodontitis are less common in young and nonobese individuals, the systemic inflammation associated with periodontitis may significantly influence the development of Ménière’s disease in younger individuals and individuals with a low body mass index.”

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