Relationship between periodontitis and diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is considered to double the risk of periodontal disease compared with healthy individuals. Type II is the acquired diabetes associated with obesity. Other consequences of poorly managed Type II diabetes include heart and kidney disease, peripheral nerve damage and damage to other organs including the eyes.
Diabetes affects the body’s ability to absorb glucose from the blood stream which results in raised blood sugar levels. Management of the disease aims to reduce and maintain blood glucose to within normal concentrations.
. . . a two-way street . . .
Evidence suggests that periodontal disease is another side-effect of diabetes, and one that flourishes if the overall disease is not managed. There is also some consensus that managing the inflammation in gum disease assists with overall disease management. This is thought to be due to a connection between blood glucose levels and general inflammation in the body. The good news is that prevention and treatment of gum disease comes down to good oral hygiene habits.
Certain populations are considered more at-risk of developing type II diabetes, and should consider prevention of gum disease a priority. These include a family history of diabetes, previous gestational (during pregnancy) diabetes, obesity and smoking.
In addition, anyone with diabetes who notices redness or puffiness of gums, or even that gums bleed with brushing or biting an apple should get to their dentist as soon as possible.
It seems that brushing and flossing regularly can do more for diabetics than just maintaining a bright smile!