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6635 Flanders Dr. Suite E, San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: (858) 457-4100
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Periodontal Disease and Diabetes: A Connection?

Posted on 3/12/2015 by Tom Bierman
Research has shown a connection between periodontal disease and diabetes Recent research has shown a strong connection between the occurrence of periodontal disease and diabetes. Periodontal disease is, of course, inflammation of the gums, a bacterial infection at or below the gum line. Preventing or treating periodontal disease with good regular oral hygiene habits (brushing and flossing) can not only protect your teeth and gums, but also help prevent the development and complications of systemic illnesses like diabetes.

With diabetes, there is uncontrolled blood sugar as well as insulin production. Diabetics, because of thickening of the blood vessels and decreased saliva production, have difficulty naturally alleviating excess sugar in the mouth, and so tend to have more of the bacteria that cause gum disease. Diabetes impairs white blood cells' ability to fight infection and research reveals that those with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal disease, if they haven't already been diagnosed with the condition. For those who have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, recurrence of infection is common if diabetes is uncontrolled.

The study also showed that gum disease increases blood sugar levels in the body, making glucose control more difficult and increasing potential complications from diabetes. Often patients don't realize they have diabetes until a dental exam reveals symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

If you know you have diabetes, it is crucial that you keep your blood sugar levels controlled and exercise good oral health practices and visit our office regularly to reduce your risk of infections, including periodontal disease.

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