Oral Hygiene Is Crucial for Diabetes
Patients with diabetes need to pay close attention to their dental health. Astudy of 628 Pima Indians 35 years of age or older with type 2 diabetes indicatedthat periodontal disease strongly predicts mortality from heart diseaseand kidney disease. To investigate, the researchers used dental x-rays andexaminations to determine if the participants had periodontal disease. The gumdisease was classified as none, mild, moderate, or severe.
Reporting in Diabetes Care (January 2005), the researchers discovered that60% of the participants had severe periodontal disease. Of the 60%, 263(70%) of the participants had lost all their teeth. In the follow-up phase, an averageof 11 years, 204 of the participants had died. The researchers said that thedeath rates for all natural causes "expressed as the number of deaths per 1000person-years of follow-up were 3.7 for no or mild periodontal disease, 19.6 formoderate disease, and 28.4 for severe periodontal disease."