Brushing twice a day and flossing is vital to maintain good oral and overall health. Good oral hygiene ensures that our pearly whites remain strong and disease-free for as long as possible. However, did you know that now you have even more significant reasons to take care of your precious whites? Dental and medical sciences are advancing at a rapid pace, and many researchers are being conducted.

One such research was recently conducted and published by Dr. Yoonkyung Chang, a clinical assistant professor of neurology at Ewha Woman’s University Mokdong Hospital, South Korea. Dr. Chang and her team’s research showed that people who brush their teeth thrice a day have a lower risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes. Further, Chang’s study also shows that people who tend to have poor dental health also have deranged blood sugar levels. This South Korean Study successfully established a relationship between oral health and new-onset diabetes. A person who has good oral hygiene and has healthy teeth and gums tends to be at a lower risk of developing new-onset diabetes. The team was still unable to answer and unravel the exact reason and mechanism behind this association, but it promptly shows that poor oral health affects diabetes.

Faulty and irregular oral hygiene practices lead to bacterial accumulation on the teeth and gums. These bacteria are responsible for gum diseases and dental decay. If not removed, these disease-causing bacteria lead to chronic inflammatory processes. Chronic inflammation affects the integrity of your mouth and causes gum inflammation.

These bacteria can also enter the bloodstream, where it generates a robust immune response. This immune response has been shown to affect blood sugar levels. However, this does not conclusively prove a relationship between oral health and diabetes as many other factors that contribute to compromised oral health also play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes.

An endocrinologist from NYU Langone Health in New York City, Dr. Akankansha Goyal, was also aware of these findings and weighed in to explain that a relationship between compromised oral health and diabetes exists. Dr. Goyal’s observations have shown that diabetes compromises oral health, but vice versa still cannot be said with absolute certainty. In patients suffering from diabetes, high blood sugar levels may be linked to dental caries and poor oral health. An individual’s diet also influences the way the disease progress. It has been proved time and again that a diet rich in sugars and processed food can lead to various systemic and oral diseases. Thus diet provides a link between poor oral health and the development of diabetes.

A study conducted in South Korea by Dr. Chang and the team had over 190,000 participants with an average age of 53. It was noted that one in every 6 people presents with some kind of gum disease. The data for this study was collected thoroughly from 2003 to 2006, with an average follow-up time being 10 years. During this period, 16% of the participants later developed diabetes. The investigators considered various factors for the purpose of this study. These factors were – age, weight, blood pressure, physical activity, income, smoking and alcohol intake. These were digitally recorded. By the end, the research showed that participants who had gum diseases had a 9% higher risk of developing diabetes. In contrast, participants who had missing teeth also had a 21% higher risk of diabetes.

Good oral hygiene practices, regular dental visits supplemented by a proper and healthy lifestyle can significantly lower the chances of developing diabetes and ensure good health.

At Guelph Royal Dental Centre – Guelph Dentist Office, we care about your oral health and strive to provide you with the best possible treatment and care.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.


DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is no way to offer a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation.  Any advice provided is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.