The link between gum disease and type 2 diabetes has been investigated by those who study dental care, as well as by doctors.
Now, one scientist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health has suggested that instead of being a predictor, periodontal disease may actually lead to diabetes.
"It has been generally accepted that periodontal disease is a consequence of diabetes despite the fact that this association has not been studied with the same methodological rigor applied to coronary and stroke outcomes," Dr Ryan T. Demmer told Endocrine Today.
He cited research which found that people who suffered from gum disease earlier on were more likely to develop diabetes later in life than those who did not have the dental health condition.
One possible way that the gum disease may influence type 2 diabetes is through chronic inflammation, Demmer said. Bacterial infections play a role in both of these conditions.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the relationship between diabetes and gum disease is currently recognized as a "two-way street," adding that periodontal disease has been shown to increase blood sugar.
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