It is estimated that around 30.3 million people in the America are living with some form of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, as it accounts for 90–95 percent of all cases. A recent study has shown the importance of oral hygiene for people with type 2 diabetes. The research shows that those with diabetes may have better control over their blood glucose levels if and when they look after their teeth. The study, which was recently published in The Journal of Clinical Periodontology, suggests that for people who already live with type 2 diabetes, strong oral hygiene could be a key to managing blood glucose levels.
Previous research has already shown that there is a two-way link between type 2 diabetes and gum disease, known as periodontitis. People with type 2 diabetes live with a greater risk of developing gum disease, and gum disease may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes develops when the cells in the body stop responding to the hormone insulin, which is a process known as insulin resistance. Without insulin response, blood glucose levels become too high. When blood glucose levels are not a properly managed, a number of serious complications may arise, including nerve damage (neuropathy), eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts, and skin conditions.