If I Have Gum Disease, Does It Mean I’m Diabetic?

When it comes to diabetes and periodontal disease, or gum disease, it has been noticed that people who suffer from diabetes often also suffer from periodontitis. The reasoning behind this is that diabetics have a difficult time controlling the sugar levels in their bodies, and harmful oral bacteria feed on sugars and then produce acids that can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. A new study suggests that the severest form of periodontal disease, periodontitis, may be an early marker for type 2 diabetes.

The Study

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 million people in the United States are diabetic, and it is estimated that another 8 million have the disease but are undiagnosed. A study conducted at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands that consisted of 313 dental clinic patients, assessed the sugar levels in patients with different stages of periodontal disease. Researchers found that those patients with the severest form of gum disease also had the highest blood sugar levels. It was also found that a high percentage of the participants with suspected diabetes and prediabetes presented with mild-to-moderate as well as severe gum disease.

Due to the results of the study, the authors suggested that dentists screen patients who present with severe periodontitis for diabetes as a way for patients to avoid future complications from the disease. Left undiagnosed, diabetes can cause a myriad of health issues including:

  • Heart disease
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Vision problems, including blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Infections
  • Dental issues
  • Amputation

According to the authors, a simple finger-prick screening could be carried out in the dentist’s office to avoid the adverse effects of leaving diabetes untreated.

Are You Suffering From Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is the severest form of periodontal disease and can lead to infection and tooth loss. According to the study, it can also be an indicator that you are suffering from diabetes. Find out by scheduling a consultation with Just Wright Dental in Corsicana, TX, today at (903) 225-2221. We proudly serve patients from Navarro County, Mildred, Eureka, Ennis, Fairfield, Teague, Blooming Grove, Dawson, Hubbard, Hillsboro, Mexia, Groesbeck, Kerens, Malakoff, Rice, Centerville, Buffalo, and Athens.