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Keywords:

  • endotoxemia;
  • liver fibrosis;
  • oral health;
  • periodontitis

Aim

Dental infections are implicated in several systemic diseases due to bacteremia and pro-inflammatory effects, but their possible role in liver disease is unclear.

Methods

We retrospectively analyzed the clinical course of liver disease in relation to dental health among 116 patients with liver cirrhosis who underwent dental examination before liver transplantation.

Results

The need for multiple tooth extractions, a surrogate marker of dental infections, was associated with reduced time from diagnosis of liver disease to the need for liver transplantation (P = 0.02). The association was independent of age, sex, liver disease etiology and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score (P = 0.04). Among 38 patients with accurate laboratory follow-up data, the number of tooth extractions correlated with the change in MELD score during the year preceding dental examination (r = 0.43, P = 0.03). Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis caused by Streptococcus viridans occurred only among patients with multiple dental infections.

Conclusion

Dental infections may influence the clinical course of liver disease, but prospective studies are needed.