Diabetes and periodontal (gum) disease


Diabetes and periodontal disease are chronic inflammatory conditions. Research suggests that there is a two-way relationship between these conditions:

  • Periodontal disease is often considered as the sixth complication of diabetes mellitus (Löe, 1993). Evidence has shown that patients with diabetes mellitus (especially those with poor glycaemic control) are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes.
  • Moreover, research has shown that uncontrolled periodontal inflammation can worsen the glycaemic level, and treating periodontal disease can improve the diabetic status (Grossi et al., 1997).

Periodontal disease can remain undiagnosed long before the individual notices any symptoms. If you or someone you know has diabetes, the best advice is to have a dental checkup with your local dental professional. The prevention or management of periodontal disease is pertinent for the successful management of diabetes.