A new research study has that gum disease could increase the chances of a person having asthma. 

The findings, which were published in the Journal of Periodontology, reveal that people with gum disease are up to five times more likely to develop asthma than those with good oral health, the Huffington Post reports.

The UK has some of the highest rates of asthma in Europe, with around 5.4 million Brits suffering from the disease, according to Asthma UK.

Oral hygiene is also an issue in the UK, as leading dental charity, the British Dental Health Foundation, suggests that less than 50 per cent of British adults have an “acceptable oral hygiene routine.” The findings of the Adult Dental Health Survey show that many people fail to carry out even the most basic hygiene practices every day and research is consistently linking poor oral health to an increased risk of general health conditions, including diabetes, strokes and heart disease.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the BDHF, said that the study suggests a “significant” link between asthma and gum disease and added that people should be aware of the importance of good oral hygiene and regular dental appointments.

The study analysed 220 people, including 113 with asthma and 107 with asthma. The team took factors, such as age, lifestyle habits, education and body mass index into account and concluded that people with gum disease were around five times more likely to suffer from asthma than those who had no signs of periodontal disease.