Gum disease in pregnant women linked to gestational diabetes

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Pregnant women with periodontal (gum) disease are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, regardless of whether they smoke or drink, a New York University (NYU) study has found.

Gestational diabetes stops glucose from being transported to the cells during pregnancy. While it usually disappears after pregnancy, it leaves women at a greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. 

The study followed 190 Sri Lankan women, and found that those women with bleeding gums during tooth-brushing had the highest amounts of glucose in their blood. These results back up a previous study’s findings. The earlier study had followed 256 New York women during their first six months of pregnancy. The 22 that developed gestational diabetes had significantly higher levels of bacteria and inflammation in their gums.


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