Preventing gum disease may help you manage the conditions associated with diabetes.

In recent years, we have learned that people with diabetes are more prone to a variety of bacterial infections, including gum disease, than people without diabetes. The latest research suggests the relationship between gum disease and diabetes may be even stronger. Having gum disease may in fact worsen an existing case of diabetes, or put you at risk for the complications associated with diabetes.

In one recent study, patients with diabetes required insulin treatment less often following treatment for their gum disease. In another study, it was found that severe periodontal disease may increase both blood sugar levels and the amount of time the body functions with high blood sugar, putting those with diabetes at increased risk for complications.

The results of these studies suggest severe gum disease may be an important risk factor in the progression of diabetes, and that people with both diabetes and gum disease should receive regular treatment from an oral health professional to reduce inflammation of the gums.