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Research has come forth that suggests that the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes goes both ways-periodontal disease can make it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar. Those who have diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than those who do not which makes it vital for diabetics to maintain their blood sugar and seek treatment for periodontal disease.

Diabetes Increases Chances of Periodontal Disease

Diabetics, as a result of their increased susceptibility to infection, are at greater risk of developing periodontal disease than those without diabetes. Those who do not have their diabetes under control are at an even greater risk for periodontal disease. Uncontrolled diabetes impairs white blood cells, which are the body’s main defense against bacterial infection that can occur in the mouth. Allowing diabetes to be left uncontrolled greatly increases a diabetic’s risk of moderate to severe periodontal disease. Those who have diabetes will often experience dry mouth, gum inflammation (periodontitis), and poor healing in the oral tissues. All of these complications of diabetes can put a patient at greater risk for periodontal disease, but the inflammation of the gums is by far the most threatening. Besides impairing white blood cells, diabetes also causes blood vessels to thicken. Thickened blood vessels slow the flow of nutrients and waste products from the tissues of the mouth. This inflammation greatly reduces the body’s ability to fight infections, such as the bacterial infection that causes periodontitis or gum disease.

Additionally, the damage that periodontal disease can do is far greater in a diabetic patient than one without diabetes because healing in diabetics may be impaired, allowing the periodontal disease to cause far more destruction at a faster rate.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: A Two-Way Street

Not only does diabetes affect periodontal disease, periodontal disease has been shown to affect a patient’s diabetes. The relationship is a two-way street. Periodontal disease may make it more difficult for patients with diabetes to control their blood sugar.

Periodontal disease has been shown to increase blood sugar which contributes to increased periods of time when the body functions with high blood sugar. Bacterial infections, like periodontal disease, can affect the patient’s metabolism making it far more complicated to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Because periodontal disease is a chronic infection, it has a negative impact on the diabetic’s ability to maintain control of the metabolic status. All of these effects can increase the risk for some of the complications of diabetes: glaucoma, neuropathy, and high blood pressure.

Several studies have found that treating periodontal disease helps diabetics control their blood sugars. One such study of 113 Pima Indians, published in the Journal of Periodontology (1997), found that when the Indians’ periodontal infections were treated, the management of their diabetes markedly improved.

Gum Disease Treatment in the Diabetic

If you have diabetes, schedule an appointment today to learn if you have periodontal disease. Gum disease treatment options vary for periodontal disease and can help you maintain and control your diabetic status. If you are diabetic, it is crucial for you to have healthy gums. Healthy gums will make it easier for you to control your blood sugar levels ultimately saving you time, effort, and money!

Our diabetic patients come to us from Mill Basin, Marine Park, Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Canarsie and nearby communities in Brooklyn, NY.

Testimonials

This office is well run and staff by people who give excellent patient care and service. Able to educate the patient on good oral care. Easy to schedule appointments. --Bradley R., Brooklyn, NY

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Marine Park Periodontics
2272 Hendrickson Street, Brooklyn NY 11234

Phone: (718) 253-3333
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