Did you know that gum disease and diabetes go hand in hand? If you or a loved one have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to incorporate a periodontist (gum specialist) into your new lifestyle. Along with diet and exercise, good oral hygiene habits, and regular visits to a periodontist are crucial to your overall health and well-being. According to the American Diabetes Association, individuals with diabetes are at increased risk of developing gum disease.
Research in both oral health and endocrinology have demonstrated that uncontrolled gum disease can increase blood sugar levels. Like most infections, periodontitis can impair your body’s ability to use insulin properly, which can make controlling blood sugar more difficult. In an article by Preshaw et. al:, Periodontitis and Diabetes: a two-way relationship, “Periodontal therapy in patients with diabetes is associated with improvements in glycaemic control”. Consequently, patients who see their periodontist regularly and receive treatment, improve their glucose levels dramatically and overall health within a matter of weeks.
Dr. Sanaz Vahid is a periodontist at Kazemi Oral Surgery and Dental Implants in Bethesda, MD.