Exploring the Intricate Relationship Between Periodontal Disease and Diabetes
We already know, and as you can read on this website, that keeping your teeth and gums healthy covers more than just having a great smile. Your mouth is a very important part of your body as it is the entrance point of your body energy (food) and the glands in your mouth take care of making the food available for the body. On the other hand, your mouth can also be a source of bacteria that can cause harm to your teeth, gums and body.
One of those problems is gum disease which, according to a study titled Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States, 47.2percent, or 64.7 million American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent.
Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tis sue and bone supporting the teeth, according to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Research has also shown that periodontal disease is associated with other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Gum Disease and Diabetes a Two-Way Relationship
Diabetes affects more than 18 million individuals in the United States and has reached epidemic status. Diabetes makes a person prone to infection, poor wound healing, and increased risk of death associated with disease progression. Diabetes poses an important risk for more severe and progressive gum disease and infections that can lead to in the destruction of tissues and supporting bone that form the attachment around the tooth. People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes and if they don\’t have their diabetes under control, they are especially at risk.
So there is a vicious circle in that people with untreated gum disease can end up with diabetes, while diabetes itself promotes gum disease and worsens existing issues with gums. Additionally, research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways – periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. 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.
Gum Disease Treatment Options
As a holistic dentist and naturopathic doctor, Dr. Gashinsky treats dental patients from the viewpoint of whole-body health and that includes treating gum disease with the most advanced, safe and body-friendly procedures.
One of those procedures is called LANAP®, a minimally-invasive, no-pain laser treatment that offers a great alternative to more invasive and painful gum surgery. LANAP treatment to restore your gums takes less time than traditional surgery. In two 2-hour visits the procedure will be completed, leaving only some subsequent visits for check-ups and after-care. LANAP gives better, longer-lasting results. In fact, 98% of LANAP-treated patients remain stable after five years.
If you and someone in your family have gum disease, or you have diabetes with an increased risk of gum disease, it’s time to schedule an appointment NOW. The LANAP procedure is safe for patients with health concerns such as diabetes, HIV, and hemophilia, or for those taking medications such as Plavix or aspirin.
Eke PI, Dye BA, Wei L, et al. Prevalence of periodontitis in adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010. J Dent Res 2012;91(10):914-920.
American Dental Association: Diabetes and Periodontal Infection: Making the Connection: Janet H. Southerland, DDS, MPH, PhD, George W. Taylor, DMD, DrPH and Steven Offenbacher, DDS, PhD, MMSc