Periodontal Disease (Periodontitis) and Diabetes

Sugar aggravates both diabetes and periodontitis.If you are a loyal reader of the Farber Center blog than you already know diabetes will increase the risk of developing periodontitis (gum disease). In this blog post, we will delve into the connection between diabetes and gum disease and discuss their connection.

What are Periodontitis and Diabetes?


Our bodies typically create energy by processing the food we eat into glucose. The pancreas will then manufacture a hormone called insulin to spread the glucose to the cells within our body. A person with diabetes will be unable to produce enough insulin or they cannot use the insulin properly; causing sugar to pile up in excess within the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, as of 2015, 30.3 million Americans have diabetes. The CDC report also states that 84.1 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition that leads to type 2 diabetes within five years.


Periodontitis, periodontal disease, or gum disease is a common infection damaging the soft tissue and bone supporting your teeth. The Journal of Dental Research released a study estimating, through use of a sample size, that 47.2% of Americans (64.7 million adults!) have some form of periodontitis. To read a more in-depth explanation of periodontal disease read our blog post: Periodontal Disease: A Treatable Condition.

The Connection between Periodontitis and Diabetes

The blog we first linked to at the top of the page mentions that an infection like periodontitis “may cause insulin resistance, which disrupts blood sugar control. The American Academy of Periodontology states that “severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar”. The increased blood sugar along with the development of insulin resistance makes it clear that having both is problematic!

How to Treat Periodontal Disease if You Have Diabetes?

Controlling periodontal disease, for the most part, requires the same steps whether or not you have diabetes. Bi-yearly check-ups with a periodontist, as well as proper teeth and gums maintenance are necessary steps to removing the infection. However, diabetics need to be more attentive to their sugar levels than those without diabetes. Controlling your blood glucose levels is vital to restoring your teeth.

Even if you are diabetic, your periodontitis can be treated. While it is true it will require more work to control your gum disease, we want you to know that with the help of the Farber Center your future is looking bright! Call the Farber Center at 800.616.7010 to arrange an appointment as soon as possible.