Diabetes and oral diseases affect each other and hinder treatment

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In a study from the University of Helsinki, scientists found that common chronic diseases and problems linked to oral health have detrimental and long-term reciprocal effects on each other.

To achieve the best possible treatment outcomes, the general and oral health of patients should be considered as a whole.

In the study, the team examined the predictive value of oral health for the onset of various chronic diseases through a 10-year follow-up.

A key finding was that periodontitis (a disease of the connective tissue of teeth) has a particular link with diabetes.

The results of the study show that periodontitis and apical periodontitis, inflammation of the apex of the tooth root, are associated with common metabolic diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, type 1 and 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes, which require treatment.

No similar association with other common chronic diseases, such as connective tissue diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory intestinal diseases or serious mental diseases, was observed in the study.

Based on the findings, the team suggests a two-way effect exists between diabetes and other metabolic diseases, and periodontitis.

Diabetes accelerates the progression of periodontitis and complicates its diagnosis and treatment, especially if diabetes has not been diagnosed or the disease is poorly controlled.

Correspondingly, incipient or latent periodontitis makes diabetes chronic as well as hinders its diagnosis, control and maintenance therapy.

The mutual effect of these diseases also results in increased costs, significant both in terms of public health and the economy.

The team says based on their findings, successful treatment of periodontitis has a positive effect on the treatment outcomes for diabetes and reduces the cost of care.

Similarly, the successful treatment of diabetes slows down the progression of periodontitis while reducing medical costs.

The researchers estimate that more such bidirectional effects between diseases are likely to be identified in the future.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about a cure for type 2 diabetes, and why insulin is more expensive for people with diabetes.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about bone drug that could lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and results showing eating more eggs linked to higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

The study was conducted by Frontiers in Oral Health et al and published in Pia Heikkilä.

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