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Diabetes: Look after your teeth to look after your blood glucose

Diabetes: Look after your teeth to look after your blood glucose

A new study highlights the importance of oral hygiene for people with type 2 diabetes, after finding that those with the condition may have better blood glucose levels if they look after their teeth.

It is estimated that around 30.3 million people in the United States are living with diabetesType 2 diabetes is the most common form, and it accounts for 90–95 percent of all cases.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body’s cells stop responding to the hormone insulin. This is a process known as insulin resistance. Blood glucose levels become too high as a result.

Without effective management of blood glucose levels, a number of serious complications may arise, including nerve damage, or neuropathy, eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts, and skin conditions.

Previous research has also shown that there is a two-way link between type 2 diabetes and gum disease, or periodontitis; individuals with type 2 diabetes are at greater risk of developing gum disease, and gum disease may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The new study — recently published in The Journal of Clinical Periodontology — suggests that for people who already have type 2 diabetes, good dental hygiene could be key for managing blood glucose levels.