Improving dental hygiene could play a significant part in better managing type 2 diabetes, researchers have said.
Scientists from the Dental Hospital of the University of Barcelona (UB) report that people with type 2 diabetes who maintain good oral hygiene are more likely to improve their HbA1c levels.
An association between type 2 diabetes and periodontitis, also known as gum disease, has long been know, with previous studies reporting that managing type 2 diabetes can effectively improve dental health, primarily through improving healthy eating choices and reducing sugar intake.
In this study, the researchers wanted to investigate whether non-surgical periodontal treatment affected HbA1c levels among people with type 2 diabetes. Non-surgical periodontal treatment included instruction in good oral hygiene in addition to scaling and root planing which are part of basic dental care delivered by dentists.
The research involved 90 people with type 2 diabetes who received oral hygiene instructions and treatment. Dental health and HbA1c levels were measured at the beginning of the study, after three months and at the end of the six-month trial.
“Non-surgical periodontal treatment resulted in a better glycaemic status of type 2 diabetes patients and demonstrated the importance of oral health in their general health,” said the researchers.
Study author Miquel Viñas, professor of microbiology, added: “In this new study, we saw that there is not only a relation between them going from diabetes to periodontal diseases, but the other way round, from the periodontal disease to diabetes.”
People with type 2 diabetes or type 1 diabetes are generally advised to take good care of their teeth and gums, and this can be achieved by following your dentist’s hygiene advice as well as cutting out sugar.
The results have been published online in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

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