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The Association of Periodontal Disease and Diabetes


Robert J. Genco, DDS, PhD
Friday, February 7
2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Periodontal disease is an infectious complication of diabetes. People with diabetes, especially those with poor glycemic control, are two to three times more likely than those without diabetes to have periodontal disease. Diabetes likely increases susceptibility to periodontal disease by impairing wound healing. Diabetes also leads to a hyperinflammatory state, which exaggerates periodontal tissue destruction. It is, however, a two-way street in that diabetes is a risk factor for periodontal disease, and periodontal disease makes diabetes glycemic control worse. Patients with diabetes and periodontal disease also suffer from higher mortality and morbidity from heart and kidney disease. Periodontal treatment in patients with diabetes contributes to better glycemic control and helps to preserve a functioning dentition, which allows individuals to maintain a diet higher in fiber and lower in fats and refined carbohydrates. Such a diet is also beneficial to the long-term management of patients with diabetes.