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Gum disease treatment may help diabetes

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The blood-sugar levels of diabetics can be lowered if patients’ serious gum disease is treated, according to research.

Scientists at Edinburgh University have revealed that treating inflamed gums helps minimise complications experienced by diabetics.

The chemical changes caused by some mouth bacteria are believed to reduce insulin’s effectiveness and raises levels of blood-sugar. Reducing inflammation can therefore play a role in reducing blood-sugar.

The research team, which also comprised scientists from Ottawa University, Peninsula Dental School and UCL Eastman Dental Institute, said the need for doctors and dentists to work together in treating diabetics is now more pressing.

Study leader Dr Terry Simpson, based at Edinburgh University’s dental institute, said: “By far the most important aspect of diabetes management is the use of insulin, drugs and diet to control blood-sugar levels but maintaining good dental health is something patients and healthcare professionals should also recognise.

“Although the benefit in terms of insulin management is small, anything we can do to promote the well being of people with diabetes should be welcomed.”

The findings are published as part of the international Cochrane Collaboration.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The e-mail heading 'Gum disease increases insulin levels' seems to be a red herring. there i was innocently thinking that diabetics with caries should be Ok and I discover your text writer has it wrong :-)

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