Cosmetic Smiles and General Dentistry by Aesthetic Oral Arts
The Diabetes-Periodontal Disease connections may be the strongest in medicine and can create relationships with the medical community. Some key reasons:
• Research indicates that periodontal disease may increase the mortality rate for diabetics up to 7.5 times.
• Periodontal treatment can significantly aid in diabetes treatment and prevention.
• Diabetic risk testing can be done in the dental office.
• The complete periodontal treatment for a diabetic can be billed to health insurance.
• There is realatively little controversy over the relationship.
According to the American Diabetes Association about 20% of Americans are affected by diabetes:
• 13 million people or 4.3% of the population have diagnosed diabetes.
• 5.2 million people, another 2% of the population have undiagnosed diabetes.
• 41 million people or 14% of the population are pre-diabetics.
• The rate is 1.5 times higher in Latinos and 24% of Mexican Americans have diabetes.
• About 10% are type 1, insulin dependent diabetics, while the remaining 90% are type 2, who do not process sugar properly.
Periodontal disease in the normal population is rare before age 20 and increases steadily to 60% in the 45-54 age group, 30% of 20 year old diabetics have periodontal disease, reaching 50% by age 35 and 80%+ in the 45-54 age group.
Poorly controlled diabetics respond differently to bacterial plaque at the gum line than well controlled diabetics and they also have more destructive inflammatory activities according to AAP.
As we have seen, periodontal disease makes it more difficult for a diabetic to control their blood sugar. Additionally, the loss of teeth is a real problem for diabetic since the support for a denture erodes away as they age, making it much more vital to keep their teeth. Periodontal disease increases the rate of C-reactive Protein, which also causes problems for diabetics and greatly increases the rate of heart attacks.