Diabetes and Periodontal Diseases: Interplay and Links
Matrix Dynamics Group, University of Toronto, Canada.
The association between diabetes and periodontal diseases is well-established. Diabetes is a risk factor for periodontal disease, with diabetic patients exhibiting an increased prevalence, extent and severity of gingivitis and perio- dontitis compared to healthy adults. Several mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes have also been associated with periodontal disease progression. It is recognized today that there is a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease, with recent research showing that periodontal disease may affect the metabolic control of diabetes in diabetic patients. In this review, we present the current knowledge of the interplay between periodontal diseases and diabetes through the evaluation of randomized control and longitudinal cohort studies published in the past 15 years. Current data support the conclusion that diabetic patients are at increased risk for periodontal diseases, and that patients with poorly controlled diabetes are at risk for severe periodontitis. This results in the destruction of oral connective tissue and generalized bone loss, leading ultimately to tooth loss. Although the effect of periodontal disease on glycemic control in type 1 diabetic patients is controversial, evidence does show a direct correlation between periodontal health and glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated the beneficial effect of periodontal treatment on metabolic control of type 2 diabetic patients.