Periodontal diseases have been associated with numerous systemic diseases and conditions, including diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. Diabetes mellitus is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of disorders affecting the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins.1,2

The defining feature of diabetes is abnormal elevation in blood glucose levels, caused either by an insufficient secretion of insulin by the pancreatic β-cells and/or insulin resistance in liver and muscle cells.3 The long-term hyperglycemia that results from this disorder can lead to damage of various end organs including the heart, eyes, kidneys, nervous system, vascular system, and periodontium.2,3 Diabetes mellitus and periodontitis share common risk factors and present unique challenges for oral health care providers who are treating patients with both diseases.

This course seeks to improve the dental care provider’s understanding of the interaction between periodontal disease and diabetes mellitus as well as aid in the clinical decision making to care for patients with diabetes mellitus and periodontal disease.