Better Oral Hygiene May Mean Better Blood Glucose Levels

August 24, 2020

By now, we are already aware of the strong association between poor dental health and diabetes (meaning, those with the condition are at greater risk for developing gum disease) and that gum disease may also increase the chance of having type 2 diabetes. But you may not know, that a new study suggests that improved oral hygiene can actually help control glucose levels for those already diagnosed. Based on this data, it is suggested that the importance of hygiene should be emphasized more for people with type 2 diabetes.

Published by The Journal of Clinical Periodontology, the study highlights how cleanings, regular check-ups and overall good dental hygiene can be a key factor in managing blood glucose levels. Its findings include that those with type 2 diabetes may have better glucose levels if they take better care of their teeth. This discovery is significant, because it shows how an individual can help control this condition more on their own. This could decrease a number of serious related complications including eye problems, skin conditions and nerve damage.

Within the study, one group received scaling and root planning, (a thorough office cleaning that removes plaque from the surface of the teeth and below the gums) while the other group, the control group, received cleanings above the gum line only. When cleanings took place below the gum line, there were significant improvements in HbA1c levels and fasting plasma glucose. While the other group (control group) showed no improvements. Meaning, those with this condition should look into thorough cleanings as part of their oral hygiene routine. The sudy concluded that, “non-surgical treatment of periodontitis improves the glycemic status and levels of glycated hemoglobin, and therefore proves the great importance of oral health in these patients.”

In short, oral hygiene and managing bacteria may assist in better blood glucose management for those with type 2 diabetes. If you, or someone you know, has this condition speak with your dentist about establishing an oral health care plan that aims to improve your overall health.

For more details on this study, click here.