There is a new reason for taking care of your pearly whites and ensure good oral hygiene practices. Yes, you read that right. Recent studies have shown that practising good oral hygiene can be the secret to keep diabetes and all its complications away. It is known that systemic illnesses can affect your oral health and vice versa. Diabetes alters your immune system, making it inefficient and also have a devastating impact on your teeth and gums. However, all this can be avoided by brushing and flossing regularly and scheduling regular visits to your dentist.

Many researchers have dedicated their time and resources to find a link between oral health and the development of diabetes. One such research was carried out in South Korea, led by Dr. Yoonkyung Chang, a clinical assistant professor of neurology at Ewha Woman’s University Mokdong Hospital, South Korea. Dr. Chang and her team’s comprehensive study showed us that practising good oral hygiene, brushing thrice a day could help lower the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. It also revealed that poor oral health and poor oral hygiene also impact blood sugar levels and can cause them to be disturbed. This led to the establishment of the fact that oral health and diabetes are interrelated. However, the exact mechanism and reason behind this still remain a topic of debate.

Improper brushing and flossing habits can cause tartar to accumulate on the teeth and gums. This tartar contains numerous bacteria responsible for all kinds of dental diseases. If not removed, it can lead to gingival inflammation, dental decay, and gum diseases, leading to chronic inflammation. These bacteria can also find a way to enter the bloodstream, generating a massive immune response. An immune response can alter blood sugar levels and influence the way diabetes and its complications progress. There is a prominent relationship between oral health and the development of type 2 diabetes, although the cause and effect remain unknown. This is because factors responsible for developing oral diseases are also responsible for influencing the way type 2 diabetes progress and its development.

Many other medical researchers like Dr. Akankansha Goyal have also contributed to this. She was not directly involved in this study but is familiar with the finding. Dr.Goyal is from NYU Langone Health in New York City and says that diabetes affects the oral cavity making it more prone to dental diseases. However, the fact that dental conditions lead to diabetes is still not particular. She also emphasizes the importance of diet and how it influences oral health and the development of diabetes. Consumption of processed and sugary foods also contributes to the development of dental diseases as well as diabetes.

Dr. Chang’s comprehensive study on this topic in South Korea examined over 190,000 participants. The analysis was computerized, and various factors such as age, weight, blood pressure, physical activity, income, smoking status and alcohol intake were noted. The average age was 53 years, and one out of every six participants was affected with gum diseases. These participants were also subjected to regular follow-ups for a period of 10 years. During this time, over 16% developed diabetes. It was concluded that individuals with gum diseases were at a 9% higher risk of developing diabetes. Those who have 15 or more missing teeth had a 21% higher risk of developing diabetes.  This is why Dr.Goyal suggests practising proper oral hygiene, scheduling regular dental visits and following a healthy lifestyle as key to keeping diabetes distant.

At Sorin Boeriu DDS – Kitchener Dentist Office, we care about your oral health and strive to provide you with the best possible treatment and care.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.


DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way to offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation.  Any advice provided is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.