Periodontal Disease and Type 2 Diabetes

A recent study by UCL has shown that treatment for Periodontal Disease may help people control their Type 2 Diabetes.

A study published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal has suggested that treating periodontal disease could help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood glucose levels. It also states that it could reduce their risk of diabetes-related complications.

The study carried out included 264 people, all of whom have periodontal disease and type 2 diabetes. This group was split into two, where one group received intensive periodontal treatment while the others didn’t. This treatment included deep cleaning of gums, and in some cases minor gum surgery.

Over the course of a year, those who received periodontal treatment saw a reduction in their blood-glucose levels. On average those receiving treatment saw a reduction of 0.6%.

In addition to this, there was an improvement in the health of their kidneys and blood vessels. More research needs to be carried out to explore this link further. However, there is suggestion that improving your oral health can reduce your risk of other diabetes-related complications.

Our findings suggest preventing and treating gum disease could potentially be a new and important way to help people with Type 2 diabetes manage their condition, and reduce their risk of its serious complications.

Professor Francesco D’Aiuto, Lead Researcher of the Study

What Will come From the Study?

Following on from the results of the study, in the UK (where the research was carried out) the NHS are now working with the researchers of the study. Their aim is to highlight the link between periodontal disease and type 2 diabetes amongst diabetes professionals. They also want to increase awareness and include dental and gum assessments for people with diabetes as standard practice.

Further research needs to be done to determine if the improvements that were seen in this study can be maintained on a long-term basis. It also needs to be determined if these improvements will apply to everyone with type 2 diabetes.

Currently people with Type 2 diabetes aren’t given oral health advice or treatment as part of their routine diabetes care.

Dr. Elizabeth Robinson, Director of Research, Diabetes UK

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease. Not only is there inflammation to your gums, it also affects the bone structure surrounding your gums. Periodontal disease in time can lead to the loss of teeth and can be very painful. According to the HSE, 50-90% of adults will have gum disease at some point in their life.

Poor oral health health can greatly impact your general health. It is so important to keep on top of your oral hygiene. Good oral health may reduce your risk to other diseases such as heart disease and dementia, which have been linked to periodontal disease.

How to maintain good oral health:

  • Brush your teeth in the morning and in the evening.
  • Brush your teeth for two minutes on both occasions.
  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush, and toothpaste that has fluoride in it.
  • Use Interdental brushes once a day. Ask your dentist to show you how to use these brushes properly. Read our blog to understand in more detail the importance of interdental brushes.
  • Change your toothbrush as least every 3 months, sooner if you notice the bristles start to fray.
  • Clean and dry your toothbrush after each use.
  • Visit your dentist every 6 months for a check up.

If you have any questions in relation to periodontal disease and it’s risks please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.

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