“Serious gum disease may point to diabetes”

“Serious gum disease may point to diabetes”

A bad condition of the gums could indicate a physical illness. So would periodontitis (severe gum disease) evidence of diabetes mellitus (diabetes).

Dentists would be better to be aware of, so that they may play a role in the detection of diabetes. That says researcher Wijnand Teeuw on the basis of his doctoral research, which he did for the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam.

By the absence of symptoms in the early stages, diabetes is in the line only after years established. An estimated one third of people with diabetes mellitus do not know.

“At the time that the diagnosis is, the uncontrolled blood sugar levels often cause irreparable damage led to blood vessels and organs. Damage that eventually serious complications later in life,” says Teeuw.

According to the researcher are indications that already in an early stage can indicate the presence of diabetes more than desired. “Because periodontal disease one of the complications of diabetes, the presence can act as an early indication”, says the researcher.


Using a new validated vingerprik method mat Teeuw the geglycosyleerde hemoglobin (HbA1c) values in a total of 313 parodontitispatiënten, of which 78 were in a severe form. “With one in five people with severe periodontitis I found elevated HbA1c values. The greater values indicate the presence of diabetes. The patients were not aware of,” says Teeuw.

On the basis of its findings, concludes the researcher that dental practices might be of great importance in the screening of this volksziekte.

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