New study claims treating gum disease could improve diabetes symptoms

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A new study claims that treating gum disease could improve diabetes symptoms. Research funded by Diabetes UK has found that treating the symptoms of gum disease helps patients who have type 2 diabetes to regulate sugar levels.

The study also suggests that treating gum disease could also help to lower the risk of complications related to diabetes.

During the research period, a team at UCL’s Eastman Dental Institute analysed data from over 250 patients who had poorly controlled diabetes and gum disease. The study was jointly funded by the charity, Diabetes UK, and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. Researchers recruited 264 diabetes patients, all of whom had active periodontal disease. Half of those involved in the trial underwent intensive treatment for moderate-severe gum disease. Treatment included deep cleaning and surgery. The other half of the group had standard treatment, including regular cleaning sessions and polishing procedures. Treatment was provided alongside medication recommended for controlling diabetes.

After a year of treatment, researchers found that the participants who received intensive treatment for periodontal disease demonstrated a significant reduction in blood glucose. Typically, the level of blood glucose was 0.6% lower in this group than the group that received standard treatment.

The research team involved in the study is working closely with the NHS to raise awareness of the link between oral health and gum disease and has suggested that diabetes sufferers are encouraged to attend regular routine dental appointments.

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