Diabetes concept with insulin, syringe, vials, pills, and stethoscope.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is one of the most pervasive dental diseases in existence. Affecting nearly half of the American adult population, this disease causes the loss of tooth and gum tissue and has been linked to many other serious chronic conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, Rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s. A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania recently discovered that diabetes causes a shift in oral microbiome that facilitates the development and rapid progression of periodontal disease. This new information is extremely important for both dentists and medical professionals because understanding how these two diseases work together to create disastrous effects for patients can help both disciplines in helping patients prevent both from occurring.

The Study

The study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, found that the diabetes causes a shift in the oral microbiome which increases the pathogenicity of periodontal disease. That is to say that having diabetes increases the odds of developing and the severity of existing periodontal disease, which could lead to rapid bone and gum loss. To come to this conclusion they studied the oral microbiomes of diabetic and non-diabetic mice. They found that before the mice became diabetic, or achieved “hyperglycemia,” their oral microbiomes were similar to their nondiabetic counterparts. However, once they developed high blood sugar levels the microbiota changes drastically. These diabetic mice were also then diagnosed with periodontal disease with a marked loss of bone and tooth loss. To further their study and prove that the change in microbiome caused periodontal disease, researchers transferred microorganisms from the diabetic mice to the non-diabetic mice. The previously non-diabetic mice they also developed bone loss. A 42 percent increase of bone loss as compared to the control group which had microorganisms transferred from the non-diabetic mice. This study found unequivocally that the microbiome shift caused by diabetes causes a sharp and dangerous change in inflammatory responses which results in rapid expression of periodontal disease. They also stated that by taking particularly great care of your mouth if you suffer from diabetes can quell the harmful effects of periodontal disease. Which is why it is so important to see your Melbourne, Florida dentist frequently.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that affects the pancreas ability to create insulin, an enzyme that breaks down sugar for our body into a usable nutrient. There are several types of diabetes, Type 1, Type 2, and gestational. Type 1 is commonly known as juvenile diabetes because it normally manifests in children and teenagers, but it can happen at any time. With this type of diabetes, the immune system sees insulin-producing cells as foreign and attacks them making the sufferer dependent on insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes is more common and typically develops after the age of 35. It is caused when the body is unable to produce enough of its own insulin. This type of diabetes is tied to those who are overweight and live a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Gestational diabetes is a form of type 2 diabetes but only occurs while a woman is pregnant and resolves after she delivers her child. Monitoring blood sugar levels is important for every type of diabetes. Diabetes is a serious condition that affects all systems of your body and is a leading cause of blindness, kidney and heart failure, stroke, and amputations, and how it is a known cause of periodontal disease. Diabetes is estimated to cost Americans $245 billion dollars every year due to management of and treatment of diabetes-related issues. Preventing the onset of type 1 diabetes is not possible, however by eating healthy and being active prevention of type 2 diabetes is possible. If you are at risk of developing this disease it is important you speak with your doctor.

What This Means For You?

If you suffer from diabetes this is extremely important news and a trip to the dentist should be in order. Because diabetes changes the oral microbiome and can exacerbate the progression of periodontal disease your oral health should extremely important to you. It is important that you practice impeccable oral hygiene if you have diabetes to keep bacteria at bay. Seeing your Melbourne, Florida dentist frequently is also important. This way she can help you monitor your progression and offer advice for self care.

This new information the link between diabetes and periodontal disease is important. If you have questions about your oral health after being diagnosed with diabetes, contact your Melbourne, Florida dentist today.