Oral Inflammatory Diseases and Diabetes are Linked

April 12th, 2010, By Dental Health Magazine Staff

A link has been identified between individuals suffering from diabetes and oral inflammatory diseases such as periodontal disease; a recent study conducted in Canada suggests that there is an interaction between the two conditions.

This finding could lead to dental offices and healthcare professionals working in unison to ensure that diabetics get the appropriate treatments. Researchers have found that as many as two thirds of all diabetics have periodontitis and gingivitis.

This really comes as no surprise to many dentists who have come to note that long term diabetes which has gone uncontrolled eventually leads to severe periodontal issues.

Many researchers are not coming to realize the intimate connections between one’s oral health and one’s general health. Already some heart conditions have been linked to the onset of periodontal conditions and other correlations have been found between preterm births and respiratory conditions and oral health too. Researchers are now finding that diabetics are at equal risk for developing periodontitis and heart conditions.

Diabetics are individuals that are at a higher risk of developing infections in the body, and this includes oral infections. In turn, when an infection occurs, it worsens one’s diabetic condition. It has now been found that some oral infections may even predispose some patients in developing diabetic conditions.

Diabetics have immune system complications that can make periodontal issues hard to control. The ineffective immune system is less effective in fending off bacteria so periodontal conditions can get aggressive quickly in the diabetic. In turn, the onset of periodontitis intensifies systemic inflammation in the diabetic and it can even play a role on the body’s insulin resistance, thereby making the diabetic’s condition even worse; it is a vicious circle.

If the diabetic is treated and the periodontal disease is also addressed, the diabetic’s condition improves. These findings suggest that diabetics require regular dental treatments and if periodontal issues are identified they need to be treated with immediacy. The health of the diabetic and the oral health of the individual are tied together; addressing one’s oral health is as important as getting regular checkups and monitoring glucose levels.

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