Periodontitis | Gum infection can lead to diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease

Have you ever heard of periodontitis? It is an infection located in the gums, which can invade the underlying tissues, such as the bone of the dental arch. As many patients only learn of the existence of the disease when the disease is well advanced, the negative consequences can be serious and lead to conditions ranging from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease.

What happens is that periodontitis remains virtually undetectable by the patient until the age of 40. In practice, bacteria such as treponema and Porphyromonas gingivalis are subtly inserted into the bloodstream throughout this period. Thus, when the patient discovers that he has the disease, he already suffers serious damage.

Experts warn that the continued presence of disease-causing bacteria in the gums and bloodstream not only impacts oral health, but has consequences in several other areas of the human body.

Gum disease can impact health in many areas beyond the mouth (Image: Asierromero/Freepik)

However, symptoms of the disease include bad breath, inflamed gums, bleeding in the mouth (especially when brushing), darker gums, and pain. Risk factors include gingivitis, obesity, family history, smoking, medications that reduce saliva production, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.

periodontitis and diabetes

According to an article published in nature, the risk of periodontitis increases two to three times in people with diabetes, compared to people without diabetes. In addition, the level of glycemic control is essential in determining risk.

“In people with type 2 diabetes, periodontitis is associated with higher HbA1c levels and more serious diabetes complications. Treatment of periodontitis in people with diabetes has been shown to improve the glycemic control,” say the researchers responsible for the study.

Periodontitis and Alzheimer’s

Periodontitis can even lead to Alzheimer’s disease (Image: Anna Shvets/Envato)

In a study published in the journal borders, scientists have raised concerns about the relationship between periodontitis and Alzheimer’s disease. According to the article, levels of inflammatory cytokines suggest that periodontitis is associated with both the onset and progression, or even worsening, of neurodegenerative disease. “Periodontal pathogens and the host immune-inflammatory response in periodontitis may affect brain function, particularly in more vulnerable older adults,” the study states.

Source: nature, borders, National Center for Biotechnology Information

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