Medical News & Perspectives
December 3, 2008

Studies Probe Oral Health–Diabetes Link

JAMA. 2008;300(21):2471-2473. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.721

Physicians and dentists have long known that the health of an individual's mouth can have significant effects on the health of the rest of the body. The link between periodontal disease and heart disease is one of the most commonly known associations, but researchers are finding many more medical reasons to maintain good oral hygiene.

Diabetes, the focus of much attention lately due to its rising incidence, appears to have a particularly close relationship with conditions within the oral cavity. This relationship seems to go both ways—diabetes can lead to unwanted changes in the gums and periodontal tissues, and periodontal diseases—including gingivitis and severe periodontitis—can make it more difficult to control diabetes.

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