Oral health, diabetes and periodontitisDiabetes is a major concern for tens of millions of Americans. While most of us are familiar with the insulin and metabolic complications associated with diabetes there are far fewer that are aware of the increased prevalence of gum disease, tooth decay and other oral health problems amongst diabetics.
What is even more surprising is the increased evidence from medical studies showing that there is a “two-way street” relationship between diabetes and oral health. In other words, evidence suggests that:
- Diabetics are more likely to suffer from serious gum disease, periodontitis and
- Periodontitis decreases the body’s ability to control blood glucose, thus gum disease is a factor in aiding the progression and development of diabetes
This was covered in a clinical study that researched the link between treating periodontal disease with SRP (scaling and root planing, or a deep cleaning) and the effect upon glycemic control in diabetic patients. Clinical study on periodontal disease and diabetes, glucose management
The following is taken from that study:
“Periodontal disease and diabetes mellitus (DM) share a two-way relationship. It can be hypothesized that successful management of periodontal infection in diabetes will lead not only to reduction of local signs and symptoms of the disease, but also to better control of glucose metabolism… The result indicates that SRP is effective in improving metabolic control in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus patients”
Another respected site, www.diabetes.org, also supports these findings with their statement that:
“Emerging research also suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way. Not only are diabetics more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Research suggests that diabetics are at higher risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (serious gum disease). Diabetics are at an increased risk for serious gum disease because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infection, and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.”
“If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you are more likely to develop serious gum disease and lose more teeth than non-diabetics. Like all infections, serious gum disease may be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise and may make diabetes harder to control.”
The relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease is well established and it is a recognized fact that diabetic patients are more likely to experience gum disease and tooth loss. It is an increasingly recognized fact that those with gum disease have an increased risk of developing glucose intolerance issues that contribute to the progression of diabetes.
What is also recognized is that these increased risks and prevalence factors are far more likely to be found in uncontrolled cases. Simply put in those that do not take adequate care of their mouth and gums or their glucose management.
As this earlier study showed, effective periodontal treatments, in this study a SRP–Scaling and Root Planing–was used, demonstrated the added benefit for diabetic patients of an improved blood glucose and diabetic condition.
However, as other clinical studies show, the SRP treatment is limited in that the “bad bacteria” rapidly grows back and the condition returns. These treatments can be greatly enhanced in efficiency by the addition of using oral probiotics to support a healthy bacterial culture in your mouth and gums. (See our earlier blog post on this subject: Lactobacillus reuteri and chronic periodontitis).
As those that suffer from it know, diabetes is a serious disease with multiple complications that severely impact one’s quality of life. Taking effective measures to control diabetes can provide strong positive benefits and extend one’s life. One such effective measure is to address the state of your oral health. Deep cleanings, periodontal treatments, ongoing hygiene and the regular use of oral probiotics are all effective in promoting superior oral health and combating periodontal disease.
The advanced oral probiotic blend from Great Oral Health provides a broad spectrum of beneficial bacteria along with key ingredients designed to help remineralize your teeth. If you, or someone you care for, is diabetic then improving the level of oral health is a key step in effective management of that disease.