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Periodontal Disease May Cause Diabetes
Placed by : WorlDental.org 17-04-2008
Serious gum disease could lead to diabetes, according to American researchers. It is known that people with diabetes are more likely to have bad teeth. But the US study suggests chronic periodontal disease may itself increase the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.
UK dental and diabetic experts have welcomed the research, but say more work needs to be done before a link can be confirmed. The US researchers say that in people with periodontal disease, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and trigger a reaction from the immune system. Immune system cells release proteins called cytokines which have a damaging effect on the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin, the hormone which is key to diabetes.
Periodontal diseases may contribute to the progression to pre-diabetes, according to a new study that appears in the March issue of the Journal of Periodontology.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates 54 million people in the United States have pre-diabetes, and a significant portion of those people will develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years.
Researchers from Denmark investigated if having periodontal diseases can influence pre-diabetes and contribute to the progression of diabetes. They found that having periodontal disease can cause someone to develop pre-diabetic characteristics, and probably disturb the glucose regulation of a non-diabetic who has pre-diabetic characteristics, contributing to the progression of Type 2 diabetes. The study, conducted with rat models known to exhibit pre-diabetes characteristics, is believed to be the first to evaluate the relationship between periodontitis and pre-diabetes.
Department of Periodontology at the University of Copenhagen, Dr. Carla Pontes Andersen said:
This study found that having periodontal diseases can alter the metabolic conditions which would probably lead to the progression to pre-diabetic characteristics and Type 2 diabetes.
Also Dr. Preston D. Miller, Jr., President of the American Academy of Periodontology said:
We have known that people with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal diseases and have more severe disease. This breakthrough research shows having periodontal disease may aggravate pre-diabetes which is a precursor for diabetes. These findings underscore the importance of taking good care of your teeth and gums: it may be a simple way to prevent diabetes, or to prevent the progression of diabetes.
Gingivitis, or inflamed gums, is periodontal disease in its mildest form. Caused by bacteria in plaque, it can be cured. But if it is left untreated it can develop into periodontal disease (gum disease).
Gaps can form between the teeth and gums, which may become infected, and in the most serious cases, teeth may have to be removed. Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to regulate glucose properly; meaning levels in the blood can become too high. Insulin treatment helps the body control the levels of glucose in the bloodstream.
In these facts is needed to repeat, that people should maintain oral health by cleaning their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and visiting their dentist regularly.
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