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The Diabetes and Gum Disease Myth

Myth: There is no link between inflammatory gum diseases and diabetes

Truth: This is false.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, a link has been established between periodontitis, an inflammatory gum disease, and the incidence of prediabetes. Diabetes, a disease growing in prevalence which is characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood, can be difficult to detect in early stages. Through the employment of screening and detection strategies, prediabetes (the stage before the diagnosis of diabetes) can be determined and prevention strategies can be implemented to prevent the development of diabetes.

Previous studies have shown that there is a relationship between oral diseases like periodontitis and diabetes. Studies show that periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by tooth loss, can be exacerbated by diabetes. The study found that this link between periodontitis and diabetes can actually be used as a tool for screening for diabetes in dental offices. Researchers found that dental patients who had periodontitis were more likely to have the incidence of prediabetes, in comparison to dental patients without this oral disease. Patients with severe periodontitis had incidence rates of high blood sugar levels in the diabetic range almost two times higher than the incidence rates of high blood sugar levels in dental patients with mild, moderate or no periodontitis.

Read more about the link between inflammatory gum diseases and diabetes risk here.  

Reference

  1. Teeuw WJ, Kosho MX, Poland DC, Gerdes VE, Loos BG. Periodontitis as a possible early sign of diabetes mellitus. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. January 1, 2017. https://drc.bmj.com/content/5/1/e000326.
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