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Treating serious gum disease can help diabetics to control their condition by lowering their blood sugar levels, a study has shown.
By far the most important aspect of diabetes management is the use of insulin, drugs, exercise and diet to control blood sugar levels – but maintaining good dental health is something patients and healthcare professionals should also recognise.
Researchers have found that reducing inflammation of the gums in people with diabetes can help lower the risk of serious complications associated with the condition, such as eye problems and heart disease.
It is thought that when bacteria infect the mouth and cause inflammation, the resulting chemical changes reduce the effectiveness of insulin and raise the levels of blood sugar.
Dental treatment to reduce this inflammation may therefore help to reduce blood sugar levels.
The team – including researchers from the University of Edinburgh, UCL Eastman Dental Institute, Peninsula Dental School and the University of Ottawa – say their findings highlight the need for doctors and dentists to work together in the treatment of people with diabetes.
The research team – including researchers from the University of Edinburgh, UCL Eastman Dental Institute, Peninsula Dental School and the University of Ottawa – analysed 690 papers and included seven randomised controlled trials of people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who had also been diagnosed with periodontal disease.
They recommend that an oral health assessment should become part of the routine diabetes management.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 May 12;(5):CD004714. Treatment of periodontal disease for glycaemic control in people with diabetes. Simpson TC, Needleman I, Wild SH, Moles DR, Mills EJ. CLICK HERE for the full report.
Our recent posts on gum disease
Zestzfulness: Periodontal Disease and Prostatitis May 03, 2010 - Periodontitis or gum disease is caused by plaque accumulation on the teeth and around the gums. This plaque build-up will eventually harden, in as little as two to three days time, and remain on the teeth and around ...
Zestzfulness: Periodontitis - Do You Know It If You Have It? May 22, 2011 - Periodontitis produces high inflammation levels and has been linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Prostatitis. Periodontitis or gum disease is caused by plaque accumulation on the teeth and around ...
Brushing Teeth Less Than Twice a Day Nearly Triples Heart Disease Risk Jun 02, 2010 - In the last twenty years there has been increased interest in links between heart problems and gum disease. While it has been established that inflammation in the body (including mouth and gums) plays an important role in the build up ...
The Zestzfulness Team suggests that we, diabetic or not, should visit the dentist at least once a year.