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Is there a link between undetected blood sugar disorders & the development of gum disease & heart...

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

Is there a link between undetected blood sugar disorders & the development of gum disease & heart attacks?

Ana Sandoiu, June 11, 2019. MedicalNewsToday

Summarized by: Noelle Fischer As previous research has shown, diabetes is a continuing major risk factor for periodontitis. Data has revealed that those with diabetes are three times more likely to develop periodontitis. Those with diabetes and severe periodontitis combined have a greater risk of mortality due to ischemic heart disease. Currently, new research is determining if there are also links between undetected blood sugar disorders, otherwise known as dysglycemia, and the development of gum disease and heart attacks. Excluding those with a definite diabetes diagnosis, Dr. Anna Norhammar, a cardiologist and associate professor at Karolinska Institute’s Department of Medicine in Sweden, took blood samples from 712 people who had suffered a heart attack and 731 control participants. X-rays were used to examine all participants’ periodontal health. Through further analyzation of blood sugar control, radiographs, age, sex, smoking status, education and civil status, her team determined that “undetected dysglycemia was independently associated to both myocardial infarction and severe periodontitis. Undetected diabetes also correlated strongly with severe periodontitis.” This further supports the hypothesis that there is a link between dysglycemia, myocardial infarction and periodontal disease. Although the study presented with limitations including a small sample size, Dr. Norhammar suggests, with millions of people visiting the dentist yearly, “maybe it's worth considering taking routine blood sugar tests in patients with severe periodontitis.”

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