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Gum Care Helps Control Diabetes

Posted on February 24, 2018 | No Comments on Gum Care Helps Control Diabetes

Getting treatment for moderately inflamed gums around the teeth can help people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels under control.

A study published in the journal of Periodontology found that diabetics with periodontal disease (inflamed gums around the teeth) who underwent the standard treatment for periodontitis had a simultaneous improvement in their blood glucose control.

Spanish and Portuguese researchers studied a small group of patients with type 2 diabetes with a diagnosis of moderate generalized chronic periodontitis and compared them with the same number of patients with the same condition but without diabetes. Both groups of patients underwent conventional periodontal root scaling and root planning and all showed significant improvement in gum bleeding, amount of plaque on teeth, and the degree of looseness of teeth after treatment.

Moreover, the researchers found that the group with diabetes had a significant improvement in glucose control, as indicated by a drop in their glycosylated hemoglobin levels (HbAlc) from 7.2 to 5.7. Study investigators say that there have been studies since the 1960s suggesting that periodontal disease worsens blood sugar control in diabetics and that diabetic patients have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease than non-diabetics.

Although further studies are still needed to confirm the association between proper gum care and diabetes control, researchers suggest that a two-way relationship exists between diabetes mellitus and periodontitis, with diabetics experiencing greater severity of periodontal disease and with periodontitis worsening blood sugar control in diabetics.

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