Clean Those Choppers: Periodontal Disease May Accelerate Pre-Diabetes

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By: Linda von Wartburg

It’s already clear that people with type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal disease than people without diabetes.  Now researchers at the University of Copenhagen School of Dentistry have found that periodontal disease may contribute to pre-diabetes, at least in rats.

Their study examined fat pre-diabetic rats and lean rats, both with artificially induced periodontal disease. Compared to control rats without periodontal disease, the fat rats experienced greater deterioration in glucose metabolism, and even the lean rats showed increased fasting glucose and insulin resistance. Whether the rats brushed their little teeth was not reported.

"Oral infections have systemic effects," said Dr. Thomas Van Dyke, a professor of periodontology and oral biology, speaking to the Baltimore Sun about a study linking cancer and gum disease. Chronic inflammation anywhere, including swollen gums, causes the release of cytokines that can trigger insulin resistance. And obesity, a major cause of diabetes, is also now seen as a direct risk factor for periodontal disease.

Source: Journal of Periodontology
The Baltimore Sun

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