Holistic Dental Care by Dr. Mallory

Brushing and Flossing Related to Diabetes
November 28, 2007, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Ask the Doctor, Flossing & Diabetes, Nutrition | Tags: , , , , ,

Gum disease may even be more important than obesity or age as a factor in the onset of diabetes in adults.

More than 16 million Americans have diabetes, a condition in which the body’s ability to process sugar is impaired. Adult-onset diabetes, or Type 2 diabetes, accounts for 90 percent of the estimated diabetes cases in the United States and is almost always caused by lifestyle.

Type 2 diabetes occurs among people whose bodies ether do not produce enough insulin or cannot use insulin effectively. Researchers measured glucose control in 75 members of Pueblo Indian communities in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who had both Type 2 diabetes and severe gum disease, after treatment with various antibiotic regimens. Results showed blood sugar levels could be reduced and kept at a lower level most effectively with a single dose of oral antibiotic and repeated application of a topical antibiotic to the gums. The effects were equal to and independent of those induced by diabetes medication, the researchers said. The study shows that in this group of severe diabetics, they were able to increase glucose control with repeated treatment of their periodontal infection.

Another study showed that using antibiotics to treat gum disease decreases two markers of inflammation throughout the body. The inflammatory markers are associated with the development of atherosclerosis and other chronic diseases. This is an important finding because we have come to understand that heart disease has a substantial inflammatory component.

Health experts have said the United States could see the number of diabetes cases swell to 29 million over the next 50 years as a population fond of junk food and prone to obesity grows older. The disease raises the risk of kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, and circulatory problems that can force amputations.

Annual Meeting of the International Association of Dental Research in San Diego, March 12 2002