Periodontal Disease and Diabetes 

PeggyS

Peggy Stoor, RDH

 Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

Recently much has come to light regarding oral health and its impact on systemic health and disease. While I’ve always been borderline fanatic about oral health and have been aware of some of these relationships, the recent research connecting oral health to systemic health has helped to make my daily work much more relevant and interesting.

Presently there are 18 million diabetic patients in the U.S. and 171 million diabetic patients worldwide. Diabetes is characterized by increased susceptibility to infection, poor wound healing, and a number of complications that can affect quality of life and length of life.  Diabetes is also a risk factor for severe periodontal disease (the destruction of tissues and bone that support the teeth). It’s critically important to realize that diabetics who have periodontal or gum disease have two chronic conditions, each of which affect the other.

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While we have long known that diabetes can predispose one to periodontal disease, research now suggests that treatment of periodontal disease can have a positive impact on the diabetic condition.  Patients with periodontal disease have more difficulty controlling their blood sugar. Patients who have treatment and gain control of their gum disease have been shown to require less insulin and have a decreased hemoglobin A1c level. (A1c denotes a patients average blood sugar level over the past 3 months). In other words, periodontal disease and diabetes is a two-way street with each disease having a potential impact on the other, either positively or negatively.

Management of gum disease in patients with diabetes involves removal of plaque and calculus both at home and professionally, and maintenance of glycemic control. Nearly all diabetics respond to treatment and maintenance, therefore treatment of periodontal disease should be done as soon as possible. Both conditions require frequent professional evaluations, patient-self monitoring, daily brushing and flossing, approved antibacterial mouth rinses, and good blood glucose control.

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http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

Southerland, J.H. (2005.) Diabetes and periodontal infection: Making the connection. Retrieved from http://clincial.diabetesjournals.org/content/23/4/171

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: Retrieved from http://www.perio.org,  American Academy of Periodontology, Diabetes and periodontal Disease

Diabetes and Oral Health: Retrieved from http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/Diabetes.National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research by National Institutes of Health-(2007)

Mealey, B.L. ,(2006).Periodontal disease and diabetes: A two-way street. Journal of American Dental Association. Oct.137 suppl:26S-31S. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

Mirza,B.A., Syed A., Izhar F., Ali Khan. (2001). Bidirectional relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease: Review of evidence. J  Pak Med Assoc. Retrieved from http: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21381588

Dental Care and Diabetes. http://www.webmed.com/diabetes/dental-health-dental-care-diabetes

Image Credit: http://www.intelligentdental.com/2012/03/31/effect-of-systemic-factors-on-the-periodontium-part1

The Link Between Mouth and Body-Exploring Possible Links

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Lindsay Whitlock RDH

 

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The oral cavity is recognized as a portal of entry for many infections that affect overall health; including both physical health and emotional health. Among these infections are two leading widespread dental diseases: caries (decay) and periodontal disease (gum disease). The consequences of decay in the oral cavity and periodontal diseases are profound and often times underestimated in context of their negative impact on one’s physical health. More studies are needed but some researchers suspect that bacteria and inflammation linked to periodontal disease play a role in some systemic diseases and or conditions. Research suggests that although periodontal disease starts as a local infection in the mouth, it is generally accepted that associated bacteria and toxins gain access to the body’s blood supply and travel throughout the body. This creates a systemic inflammatory response, which may increase the risk for: heart disease, pneumonia, and complications of diabetes and pregnancy. Although periodontal disease may contribute to these health conditions, it is critical to understand that just because two conditions occur at the same time does not necessarily mean one condition is the cause for another. Researchers are continuing to work hard to examine the affects of when periodontal disease is treated within individuals suffering with these various health problems.

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Periodontal Disease – What You Should Know

Periodontal disease is a chronic infection within the oral cavity caused by bacteria. It begins when specific bacteria in dental plaque produce harmful toxins and enzymes that irritate the gums. An inflammatory response occurs if dental plaque is not removed on a daily basis. Plaque that remains on teeth over a short period of time can irritate the gums making them red and likely to become tender and bleed. This condition is called gingivitis, which can lead to more serious types of periodontal diseases. Gingivitis can be reversed and gums kept healthy by removing dental plaque daily with oral hygiene routine as well as having your teeth professionally cleaned.

If gingivitis is allowed to persist, it can progress to periodontitis (periodontal disease), a chronic disease in the pockets around the teeth. Inflammation that results may be painless however, it can damage the attachment method of gum tissue and bone to the teeth. Consequently advanced periodontitis is linked with other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stoke and bacterial pneumonia. Left untreated, teeth may eventually become mobile, fall out, or require removal by a dentist.

Given the link between periodontal disease and the systemic health problems, prevention is a critical step in maintaining overall health.

1. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes.

2. Clean between teeth with floss or another type of interdental cleaner once a day.

3. Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks.

4. Schedule regular dental checkups as recommended by your dental hygienist or dentist.

5. Tell your dentist about changes in your overall health.

Click this link that is presented by Listerine and Reach to watch a video further explaining the link between periodontal disease and our bodies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-BGfwCoJJA

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Images:

http://www.richmondinstitute.com/significance-behind-the-oral-systemic-connection

http://www.cvlsmiles.com/images/figure_2.jpg

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