It is a known fact that people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing gum diseases but a new research suggests that long-standing periodontal disease (infection of gums and the surrounding structures) may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
The possible cause thought by the experts is that the bacteria released into the blood stream initiates a reaction in the immune system, which causes the release of a chemical, called cytokines. Cytokines have been found to have a destructive effect on the body cells. The increased levels of cytokines also damage the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. The reduced insulin secretion may therefore lead to diabetes even in healthy people having no other risk factor for diabetes.Although more studies are being conducted to establish this link, it seems that it has become even more important to maintain proper oral hygiene.
How to recognise the tell-tale signs:
Recognize the warning signs of periodontal disease and consult the doctor immediately. These include:
- Red, swollen, painful gums
- Bleeding of gums on brushing the teeth
- Gums separated from teeth
- Pus between teeth and gums when teeth are pressed
- Persistent bad breath
What you can do to prevent the above symptoms:
- Maintain proper oral hygiene
- Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day.
- Properly rinse your mouth after each meal.
- Avoid sweets, starchy food, very hot and very cold things.
- Go for regular dental checkups (at least twice a year or as advised).