According to reports published by the World Health Organization, nearly 4.4% of the world population will be suffering from diabetes by 2030. Diabetes can lead to several health complications, including periodontal disease. Periodontal disease or gum disease is one of the most common causes of teeth loss among diabetic patients.

Diabetes Elevates the Possibility of Periodontal Disease

Several studies have shown a link between diabetes and advanced periodontal disease, including Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis is a condition that leads to swollen and bleeding gums, while Periodontitis affects the oral tissue and causes loss of bone, which holds the tooth in the socket. Diabetes can also cause other oral problems, such as Oral Candidiasis (thrush), dry mouth (xerostomia), burning mouth and burning tongue.

A study conducted by researchers of the Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry, University of Istanbul, Turkey, found higher incidents of periodontal disease among diabetes patients as compared to healthy controls. The researchers compared the periodontal status of 44 diabetic adolescents and children who were on insulin treatment with that of 20 healthy controls for a period of five years. The fructosamine, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1) and fasting blood glucose levels were also determined.

The researchers found that clinical attachment loss (CAL) was significantly higher among diabetic subjects, as compared to their non-diabetic counterparts. A positive correlation was found between CAL and the duration of diabetes. The study concluded that diabetes affects the status of periodontal tissues and increases CAL.

Diabetes slows down blood circulation, which makes the gums more susceptible to infections. It also impairs white blood cells, known as neutrophils, which protect the body against bacterial infection. This reduces the body’s resistance power and increases its susceptibility to bacterial infection, including periodontal disease. Moreover, high glucose content in the saliva promotes bacterial growth, leading to gum disease.

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