How are Diabetes and Gum Disease connected?
The presence of dangerous oral bacteria triggers inflammatory mediators which activate the inflammatory response. This results in an increased blood glucose level. Diabetics with Periodontal Infection have a 6-fold worsening of glycemic control. Infection causes the release of stress hormones. This worsens insulin resistance, causing a bigger rise in glucose levels and impairing the body’s ability to use the glucose for energy.
In addition, diabetics with Periodontal Infection have hyper-responsive monocyte/macrophage cells resulting in increased inflammatory cytokines. This elevation produces higher levels of TNF𝝰 in response to periodontal bacteria as compared to non-diabetics. Diabetics have decreased immune cell function, inhibiting adequate defense against periodontal bacteria.
FACT: Periodontal disease treatment can result in a 0.4% HbA1c level reduction.
- HbA1c: HbA1c is a lab test that shows the average level of blood sugar (glucose) over the previous 3 months. It shows how well you are controlling your diabetes.
- AGEs: Advanced Glycogen End-products are proteins or lipids that become glycated after exposure to sugars.
- Inflammatory mediators: Cytokines (types of proteins) that regulate various inflammatory responses such as TNF𝝰 (Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha), and IL-6 (Interleukin 6).
- CRPs: C-Reactive Protein tests measure levels of inflammation in the body.
- TNF𝝰: Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that can be produced by inflamed periodontal tissues
How can we reverse this process?
The good news is that a 1% reduction in HBA1c level is associated with the following:
- 21% reduction of deaths related to diabetes
- 21% reduction of risk for diabetes-related illnesses
- 14% reduction in heart attack
- 37% reduction of microvascular infection
Periodontal disease treatment can result in a 0.4% reduction of HbA1c levels! Common forms of treatment options include scaling and root planing and periodontal trays.