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Gum disease can be an early sign of diabetes

February 26, 2017 beninguide 0 Comments

A recent study found that gum disease (periodontitis) may be an early sign of diabetes type 2. Therefore, the researchers say that the dentist might be a good place to check prediabetes.

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“Diagnosis and treatment of periodontitis will benefit patients because it can prevent further complications,” said study author Dr. Wijnand Teeuw which is the head of the clinic Periodontology at the Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Diabetes is a worldwide epidemic. In 2010, it was estimated that 285 million adults worldwide suffer from diabetes. In 2030, that number is expected to rise to 552 million, according to the study authors.

This is presumably because a third of people who have diabetes are unaware they have the disease. Finally, they never get treatment resulting in serious complications, such as vision problems, kidney disease, heart failure and infections of the skin, according to the American Diabetes Association.

“At least 125 of the 300 people surveyed experienced mild periodontitis. And nearly 80 people suffered severe periodontitis. The rest have healthy gums,” said Teeuw.

In a study published in Diabetes Research & Care, the researchers tested the blood sugar levels in all study participants using a test called hemoglobin A1c. This test is performed up to three months.

In people who had never been diagnosed with diabetes, the researchers found that 50 percent had severe gum problems, which means prediabetes, and 18 percent have type 2 diabetes.

In mild to moderate group, 48 percent were found to have prediabetes and 10 percent have type 2 diabetes.

Meanwhile, in a group of healthy gums, there are 37 percent who turned out to be 8.5 percent have prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Spokesman for the American Dental Association, Dr. Sally Cram, said the study reinforced the initial diagnosis. Because in case he was experiencing, some people who have gum disease, he would suggest to check their blood sugar. And sure enough, he had diabetes.

“People with diabetes are not able to fight inflammation and infection,” said Cram, as published by WebMD.

A diabetes specialist, Dr. Joel Zonszein agrees. He said the relationship between diabetes and gum infections that may exist, but the study does not prove cause-effect relationships. Only he stressed the importance of collaboration among health care providers.

“99 percent of dental problems and diseases can be prevented. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, and check your teeth to the dentist regularly,” he recommended.

Signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, loose teeth, bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth.


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