Gum Disease and Diabetes

About 21 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S., according to the CDC, and another 8 million have the disease but remain undiagnosed. It’s been well-established that people who have diabetes are also at an increased risk for gum disease. But recent research indicates the reverse is also true: Gum disease can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Oral Bacteria and Diabetes

Several recent studies have examined the link between inflammation caused by periodontal bacteria and insulin resistance and diabetic mellitus development. Periodontal diseases are common chronic inflammatory disorders that result in the destruction of tissues around teeth. A bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g.) has been found to play a major role in periodontal diseases. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology demonstrates the link between the prevalence of the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g.) and diabetes development. It demonstrates how P.g. bacteria can migrate from the patient’s mouth to the liver tissue, where the bacteria infects and invades the liver cells. The presence of P.g. bacteria in the liver cells inhibits this insulin signaling and results in decreased glycogen synthesis, resulting in higher glucose blood levels and inducing the development of diabetes. That means people who have periodontal disease or the bacteria that cause the disease are also at a greater risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

Periodontal bacteria also increase the levels of a hormone called visfatin, which has been linked with type 2 diabetes as well as an enhanced inflammatory response. A subsequent study conducted by researchers in China found the nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease was extremely effective in reducing visfatin levels and lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Oral DNA Testing: Reduce Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Oral DNA testing has emerged as an important tool for identifying harmful pathogens in the saliva, pathogens associated with an array of serious diseases and medical conditions, including diabetes. During the test, a small sample of saliva is analyzed and evaluated for periodontal pathogens, helping patients gain a clearer understanding of their risks for disease. Once testing is complete, a customized treatment plan can be devised based on each patient’s individual needs to help lower the risks of chronic inflammation and disease.

Oral DNA testing is simple, fast and noninvasive. The saliva sampling is performed right in our office with results available in about a week. It’s a simple but highly effective way to help you manage your health. Call our office at 212-564-6686 today to schedule your oral DNA test.

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