Diabetes and periodontitis: a dangerous duo
In Germany, around eleven million people suffer from periodontitis. Particularly hard hit are diabetics. Health experts advise this patient for thorough oral hygiene and regular dental checks. In addition, it is important to pay attention to the blood sugar control in order to reduce the risk of periodontitis.

Periodontitis can lead to serious illnesses
According to experts, approximately 11 million people in Germany suffer from periodontitis. This chronic inflammation of the periodontium not only damages the teeth, but can also cause life-threatening illnesses according to scientific investigations. So the germs can get into the bloodstream through the inflammatory foci in the gums and in this way among other vascular calcifications or a Heart attack favor.
People with diabetes are particularly hard hit by periodontitis. Health experts advise diabetics for thorough oral hygiene and regular dental check-up. (Image: kulniz / fotolia.com)
People with diabetes lose more teeth
Like the German Diabetes Society (DDG) in a recent Message reported, are patients with diabetes Type 1 and 2 particularly hard hit by periodontitis:
They have a three-fold increased risk of periodontitis and more teeth, while at the same time deteriorating blood sugar levels due to gum disease.
The DDG advises therefore all diabetes patients for the thorough oral hygiene and regular dentist control. In addition, it is important to pay attention to the blood sugar control to reduce the risk of periodontitis.

Smoking favors periodontitis
According to DDG, periodontal disease is the most common chronic disease worldwide. The main trigger for the inflammation of the periodontium is the bacterial plaque.
This leads to a superficial inflammation of the gums – the gingivitis – which, if untreated, can spread to periodontitis.
Smoking is considered one of the common causes of periodontitis ,
“Except for lack of oral hygiene, smoking, stress and genetic factors causes of this chronic inflammation, “explains DDG President med. Dirk Müller-Wieland. Another major risk factor is diabetes mellitus.
Disease rarely causes pain
“If the blood sugar level of the diabetic patient is poorly adjusted, the risk of periodontitis increases sharply,” emphasizes Müller-Wieland. “Even then, the gum treatment is more complicated, the disease more difficult, a tooth loss more often.”
Conversely, a periodontal disease again worsens the blood sugar adjustment – with the depth of the periodontal pockets also increases the long-term blood glucose level.
As stated in the communication, research has shown that the mortality of diabetic patients with periodontal disease is higher than that of people with healthy gums. The reason for this is inflammatory processes, which, among other things, have a negative effect on the heart.
The Difficulty of the Disease: Periodontitis rarely causes pain. “It’s important, therefore. Definitely on first warning signs such as bleeding gums, swollen gums, halitosis Attention to changes in the position of the teeth or longer, loosened teeth, “explains DDG expert Priv. Dr. Doz. med. Erhard Siegel.
Proper oral hygiene
Prevention can be prevented by proper oral hygiene. Nothing is as good as regular brushing.
Dentists advise brushing their teeth at least twice a day. Best after breakfast and especially after dinner. According to experts, dental care is in the evening much more important than the next morning ,
The optimal cleaning time is usually given as two to five minutes.
Although until recently experts assumed that after a meal with acidic or sugary foods, you should wait half an hour to brush your teeth, as the acid dissolves minerals from the enamel and you make the process even worse by brushing – tooth enamel is wiped off ,
But now this recommendation is critically discussed by dentists because the benefits of brushing immediately after eating seem to outweigh the potential disadvantages.
Clean interdental spaces properly
Bear in mind that the toothbrush only gets about 70 percent of the dirt pads – the rest sits between your teeth. Therefore, you should at least once a day Clean interdental spaces properly ,
Dental floss is best for this. However, one has to be careful not to hurt the gums. Also suitable as alternatives are toothed wood, toothpicks or interdental brushes.
Also Mouthwashes clean interdental spaces , In order to control its own cleansing sequence one can occasionally use a staining tablet which shows which areas have not become clean.
It depends on the right technology
Experts are advised to always brush in the same order so that a routine is established and no area is forgotten. Often the so-called KAI technique is recommended.
This means that first the chewing surfaces, then the outer surfaces and then the inside of the teeth are cleaned.
It is basically from red (gums) to white (tooth) cleaned. Shaking and stroking is particularly useful, according to dentists.
On the website The Federal Dental Association is to find a video that explains in 60 seconds, how the KAI system works.
Regular dental examinations
In addition, the DDG advises regular dental examinations in order to exclude any risk.
As the experts explain, the doctor already recognizes early forms of periodontal disease and can treat them at the early stage of the dental screening test using the Periodontal Screening Index (PSI).
“Especially people with diabetes should go to the dentist at least once a year for control,” recommends Siegel.
The absence of smoking, a balanced diet as well as the avoidance of overweight and stress can further reduce the risk of periodontitis.
More education and prevention
The German Society for Periodontology (DG Paro) makes an online assessment of how high its own risk of periodontitis is self-test to disposal.
“Diabetologists, house doctors and dentists should also be increasingly sensitized to this topic,” says Müller-Wieland. “Because in Germany about two million people do not know that they have diabetes and are therefore at an increased risk for periodontal disease.”
All participating specialists are called upon to bring more education and prevention into their practices.
“For example, screening measures such as a diabetes test in dental surgeries or the inclusion of the dental status in the family medical history could ensure better prevention of periodontitis,” said Siegel. (Ad)

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