Research has shown that individuals with type 2 diabetes are three times more likely to contract periodontal (gum) disease than individuals without diabetes.
George W. Taylor, assistant professor of dentistry at University of Michigan, recently discussed this finding at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting. According to Taylor, data was analyzed from a long-term study of Pima Indians, who have a high prevalence of both diabetes and periodontal disease. Research conducted at the State University of New York in Buffalo showed that Pima Indians who demonstrated poor glycemic control had high levels of bacteria in the gums. After three months of strict glycemic control, however, the group of Pima Indians showed a reduction in bacteria that caused periodontal disease.
Research is underway at several universities to examine the link between diabetes and other oral health problems, including tooth decay, tooth loss and reduced saliva flow.