Diabetes, Gum Disease, and Inflammation

People who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. In diabetics, periodontal disease is typically worse than people who don’t have diabetes. Research confirms that diabetes makes gum disease more severe. The effects include deeper pockets in the gum around the teeth, more loss of bone and more loss of periodontal ligaments that connect the teeth to the alveolar bone. This is especially true of those whose diabetes is not under control and for those who’ve had diabetes for many years. The earlier a person develops diabetes and the longer they have had it, especially if they have had problems controlling it, the more susceptible they are to periodontal disease. And, once they get it, the more destructive it is.

The diabetes-periodontal disease connection forms a closed loop and may be the strongest connection in medicine. Just as diabetes makes gum disease worse, gum disease affects how well diabetics can control their blood glucose levels.

If you are not diabetic, do you know if you are at risk? I recommended at the very least a diabetic risk screening and a periodontal (gum) evaluation.