Research has come forth that suggests that the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes goes both ways-periodontal disease can make it more difficult for diabetics to control their blood sugar. Those who have diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than those who do not which makes it vital for diabetics to maintain their blood sugar and seek treatment for periodontal disease.
Diabetes Increases Chances of Periodontal Disease
Additionally, the damage that periodontal disease can do is far greater in a diabetic patient than one without diabetes because healing in diabetics may be impaired, allowing the periodontal disease to cause far more destruction at a faster rate.
Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: A Two-Way Street
Periodontal disease has been shown to increase blood sugar which contributes to increased periods of time when the body functions with high blood sugar. Bacterial infections, like periodontal disease, can affect the patient’s metabolism making it far more complicated to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Because periodontal disease is a chronic infection, it has a negative impact on the diabetic’s ability to maintain control of the metabolic status. All of these effects can increase the risk for some of the complications of diabetes: glaucoma, neuropathy, and high blood pressure.
Several studies have found that treating periodontal disease helps diabetics control their blood sugars. One such study of 113 Pima Indians, published in the Journal of Periodontology (1997), found that when the Indians’ periodontal infections were treated, the management of their diabetes markedly improved.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease in the Diabetic
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