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    Diabetes and oral health

    There is a strong link between diabetes, obesity and periodontal disease.
    Patients with Type 2 diabetes are twice as prone to periodontal disease as a non-diabetic, all other factors being equal.

    This lead to the discovery that obesity even after adjustment of all other risk factors was strongly linked with gum disease. The other risk factors included age, gender, socio-economic status, smoking, diabetes and dental plaque. This was mirrored in studies in Japan.

    How does obesity increase gum disease?
    It has been long understood that the fat cells become like an active endocrine(hormone) organ. Pumping out cytokines that have an affect on the body. Cytokines increase insulin resistance, breakdown bone by activating osteoclasts as well as activating endothelial cells in the arteries. The release of cytokines intensifies in infections including local periodontal infections. With the systemic and local cytokines rapidly increasing in number then the periodontal disease accelerates at a rapid pace.

    It seems that inflammation creates a triangular interaction between diabetes, obesity and periodontal disease. Inflammation links all three triggered by the proinflammatory cytokines manufactured by the fat tissue and produced by local gum infections.

    More research is required into other mitigating factors produced by the fat tissue.

    Aggressive treatment of periodontal disease in diabetic patients is mandatory to treat the progress of the disease but also to manage their overall health.

    Good oral hygiene is much easier to maintain than control over diet or exercise    

    For more information please talk to you dental health professional or contact us at mdtdental.com.au or email advice@mdtdental.com.au

    Reference: Robert Genco DDS and Ph. D immunology