Periodontal Therapy May Help Diabetics Sugar Control

Can improving your periodontal health help you control your blood sugar?

A new, small-scale study suggests an association between periodontal therapy and improved metabolic control in diabetic patients. Results were published in the April issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

Researchers discovered that diabetic patients who underwent a conventional periodontal treatment, scaling and root planing, lowered their blood sugar by as much as 20 percent at three and six months following treatment.

Scaling and root planing is a method of treating periodontal disease by removing plaque and tartar beneath the gumline. The tooth’s root surfaces then are smoothed or planed, allowing the gum tissue to heal. It also makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate along the root surfaces.

Study authors theorize that diabetic patients who are just above normal blood sugar could potentially normalize their blood sugar and reduce risk of serious complications from diabetes.

See the American Dental Association Web site for more information on periodontal disease, diabetes and oral health (www.ada.org).

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

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