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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Dental Services / Oral Health
- Oral Health and Diabetes

Oral health is an integral part of overall health. This is particularly evident in the growing scientific literature that suggests a strong relationship between oral health and diabetes.

Recent studies have revealed that gum disease and diabetes can affect one another. Higher blood glucose levels reduce the body's ability to fight infection, making the person with diabetes more prone to bacterial, viral or fungal infections in the mouth. Thus, people with diabetes face a greater risk of developing oral infections and gum disease than those without diabetes.

It has also been found that gum disease can intensify the complications associated with diabetes by increasing blood sugar. Severe gum disease can increase both blood sugar levels and the length of time the blood sugar levels are elevated. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications. One American study showed that people with diabetes required insulin less often after their periodontal (gum and bone) condition was treated and they had maintained good oral health.

Striving to achieve optimal health is important for everyone but it is essential for people with diabetes.

 

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