Periodontal diseases and diabetes mellitus both have similarities in their pathophysiology and high prevalence rates. The incidence of diabetes is on the rise with respect to diet, nutrition and stress, and the ever-increasing challenges to balance healthy practices into an already busy schedule in economically challenged lifestyles.
Diabetes has been shown to increase the risk of periodontal diseases, and while periodontal disease occurs in non-diabetic patients too, it is more common and more severe in diabetics. Epidemiologic research supports an increased prevalence and severity of attachment loss and bone loss in adults with diabetes.26 The evidence, however, is less conclusive in determining the effects from periodontal treatment on glycemic control indicating that further research is necessary.
Dentistry will continue to practice under the fundamental evidence that periodontal treatment has been shown to reduce the level of inflammation in the oral tissues. In the meantime, as definitive results emerge in dentistry’s contributions to improving blood sugar control in diabetics, a primary focus should be directed toward intercepting a patient’s predisposition to diabetes (prediabetes) that includes an integrated approach (medical and dental) to assisting them in modifying their risk factors.