Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
What is the Link between Diabetes and Periodontal Disease?
Diabetic control is a key element. Diabetic patients are more likely to develop chronic periodontal infections. Infections can make diabetes more difficult to control. People with poor blood sugar control get gum disease more often and more severely, and they lose more teeth than do persons with good control. Tooth loss can make it difficult to chew and digest food. For diabetic patients this can have a devastating impact on the ability to maintain proper nutrition and control blood sugar. However, people whose diabetes is well controlled have no more periodontal disease than persons without diabetes.
Children with IDDM (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) are also at risk for gum problems. Good diabetic control is the best protection against periodontal disease. Studies show that controlling blood sugar levels lowers the risk of some complications of diabetes, such as eye and heart disease and nerve damage. Scientists believe many complications, including gum disease, can be prevented with good diabetic control.