Claus Oustrup explores the relationship between diabetes and periodontitis. He explains how dentists can defend diabetics against the condition.
Over the years, it’s become increasingly clear that certain general health conditions and periodontitis have a complex relationship. Research highlighted by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) into this subject has suggested that health concerns ranging from kidney disease to high blood pressure may have an impact on people’s risk of developing periodontitis. One of the clearest of these is the link between periodontal disease and diabetes.
A problem on the rise
The number of cases of non-genetic type 2 diabetes has risen considerably in the last few years. A story in The Guardian last year reported that numbers have risen by an alarming 41% in the last three years among people aged 25 years and under.
Current estimates for the number of diabetes sufferers in the UK are around 3.2 million. This figure is projected to rise to five million by 2025. That’s not even to mention the supposed 630,000 people who are living with undiagnosed diabetes. These figures show precisely how widespread the condition has become.
This is concerning for various reasons. Not only is this rise in cases bound to leave people vulnerable to the negative effects of diabetes, including blindness, strokes, cardiovascular disease and kidney failure. It also can have a significant effect on people’s oral health.
This widespread occurrence of the condition also means that dentists will inevitably come into contact with diabetic patients on a more regular basis. They therefore need to be prepared to identify any signs of periodontitis to provide the best treatment possible.
A two-way street
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