JOINT CONFERENCE ON DIABETES AND GUM DISEASE IN MADRID CONFIRMS LINK

A joint conference held in February in Madrid between The European Federation of Periodontology and The International Diabetes Federation have confirmed a link between gum disease (periodontitis) and Type 2 diabetes.

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We have reported on this link before but this conference looked at meta-analyses of previous research to draw conclusions about the link between the two as well as the link between gum disease and the complications connected with having diabetes.

The conclusions they confirmed were that:


• People with gum disease have a higher chance of developing pre- and type 2 diabetes.

• Although there is no evidence of a direct causal link between the two conditions there is a proportional relation between changes in glucose metabolism and changes in the microbe demographic and population in the mouth.

• Improvements to the control of diabetes impacts positively on control of gum disease and vice versa.


They advised that patients who have diabetes should be informed of the increased risks of gum disease and that extra effort may need to be made to prevent escalation of the condition. Dental practitioners should also factor this in when devising treatment plans for patients with diabetes.

The conference also highlighted the impact of gum disease on complications surrounding diabetes. Diabetics are also at increased risk of eye problems, early blindness, ulceration, heart and kidney problems. All of these are exacerbated by gum disease.

As the evidence mounts is seems that good oral health practices protect much more than just our mouths.