Intense gum disease treatment may improve the life of people with diabetes

5 November 2018

Could successful treatment of periodontitis in patients with Type 2 Diabetes play a role in reducing their risk of complications from their condition? 

A study funded by Diabetes UK suggests this might be the case with researchers at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute working with 264 people over 12 months, half of whom were given intensive gum disease treatment (gum deep cleaning, minor gum surgery) while the other half received standard care (regular cleaning and polishing of teeth). 

At the end of the 12-month period, those in the first group saw their blood glucose levels (hbA1c) drop by average 0.6 percent more than those in the latter cohort.  

Professor Francesco D’Aiuto, lead researcher of the study, notes that not only does this potentially mean that people with Type 2 diabetes, who are at greater risk of developing gum disease, can improve their oral health and reduce complications arising from their conditions, but improve their overall quality of life. 

“Our findings suggest preventing and treating gum disease could potentially be a new and important way to help people with Type 2 diabetes manage their condition and reduce their risk of its serious complications. 

“The improvement in blood glucose control we observed, in people who received intensive treatment, is similar to the effect that’s seen when people with Type 2 diabetes are prescribed a second blood glucose lowering drug. 

“We now need to determine if the improvements we found can be maintained in the longer-term and if they apply to everyone with Type 2 diabetes.” 

(source: News Medical Life Sciences)