Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways – Diabetes attacks the gum tissues, and progresses the gum disease. Gum disease, in return, can cause insulin resistance and poorer blood sugar control. This two-way street becomes a vicious cycle that aggravates both diseases. What if your dentist knew how to avoid this cycle? What if your dentist knew how to lower your risk for diabetes?
Most people with diabetes understand they’re also at greater risk for oral health problems, including periodontal disease. But now, new research shows getting rid of disease-causing bacteria ― even before it triggers symptoms of gum disease ― can help you lower your diabetes-related risks. And it all starts with a simple saliva test.
Gum Disease Treatment and Diabetes
Researchers know gum disease is a major cause of chronic inflammation, which in turn, stimulates an array of systemic reactions that can have a significant negative effect on health. And the link between gum disease and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes has also been well established. More recently, researchers have turned their attention to the effects of gum disease treatment on existing diabetes. In a study published in the Australian Dental Journal, researchers from Malaysia and the U.S. reported a reduction in blood glucose levels following nonsurgical treatment for periodontal disease. And a second study published in the Journal of Periodontology found gum disease treatment also helped reduce the blood levels of visfatin, a hormone linked with both type 2 diabetes and chronic inflammation.
Researchers in Japan shed more light on the link between gum disease and diabetes. In their study, published here, they discovered P. gingivalis, one of the primary bacteria that cause gum disease, migrates to the liver, interfering with the regulation of glucose. Interestingly, the researchers also found this effect was increased among people with high levels of glucose, indicating these bacteria can cause diabetes to worsen in people whose glucose levels are not well controlled.
Oral DNA Testing for Better Diabetes Control
In its severe stages, periodontal disease causes symptoms that are easy to spot. But in its earlier stages ― and even before any infection sets in ― most people have no idea they’re harboring bacteria that can take a major toll on their health. Oral DNA testing provides a simple and very effective way to help you manage your diabetes by identifying the bacteria in your saliva, so you can get the treatment you need to help prevent serious diabetes complications.
Oral DNA testing is simple, quick and painless. It starts with a saliva sample we collect in our office. The sample is carefully analyzed, and the results are available within about a week. Then, we’ll explain the results so you understand your risks and work with you to create a custom treatment plan based on your specific needs.