There is a large body of evidence supporting the association between diabetes mellitus and periodontal disease. Many clinical studies have proven the following points:
1. Patients with uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes is prone to oral infections, including periodontitis (severe form of gum disease)
2. There is an increasing trend of diabetic patients with periodontitis and poor oral health.
3. Periodontal disease is more frequent and severe in diabetic patients with more advanced systemic complications.
4. Periodontal disease can be successfully carried out in diabetic patients.
5. Control of periodontal disease and treatment may have positive effect improvement of diabetic conditions.
Although the exact mechanism of diabetes’ effect on periodontium is not clearly established, alterations in host defense and normal tissue homeostasis seems to play a major role.
1. Factors that contribute to development of periodontal disease in diabetics:
2. Dysfunction of leukocytes (white blood cells) leading to impaired body’s resistance to infections.
3. Defect in production of collagen and other related products for repair.
4. Prone to development of infections. It is believed that infections in diabetic patients are more severe than the same infection in non-diabetic patients.
5. Poor wound healing due to delayed inflammatory response.
6. Diabetes associated with a shift in bacteria to those that tend to result in development and progression of the periodontal disease.
The diabetic patients should understand the implications on their oral health and take special attention and care to ensure good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. Remember, good glycemic control should be instituted with good gums care! When in doubt, always consult your attending physician together with your dentist.