Insulin Resistance and Periodontal Disease

October 15 2007 day 3 - Insulin pensOur health is vital to a longer and happier life, but if you have a poor diet such as eating too much sugar or fat in your day to day life, it is possible that you will be facing the same health problem that many Americans experience – diabetes.

Diabetes is one of the largest health concerns in America and is considered a western lifestyle disease, as there are around 258 million children and adults with either type 1 or 2 diabetes in the United States alone. It often begins with a terrible diet of soda, sweets, and fatty foods such as burgers from fast food restaurants which leads to weight gain and ends with a life-long condition and possibly death.

Before a full onset of diabetes occurs, the cells of the body become insulin resistant for many years. The normal levels of insulin are no longer enough to move sugar from the blood stream into the cells so the pancreas increases its insulin output, which then increases the insulin resistance in the cells. Eventually the pancreas cannot keep up with the raising need of insulin in the body, and as a result blood sugar levels rise rapidly and begins full on type-2 diabetes.

Unfortunately periodontal disease, also commonly known as gum disease, can also increase the insulin resistance in your cells just as diabetes can decrease the health in your teeth. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that diabetics are more prone to receive and is much more difficult to treat. The extra proteins released from the infections caused by periodontal disease will increase insulin resistance and make it harder for the pancreas to control your blood sugar levels. Gum disease may also put you on the fast track to full blown diabetes if you are a pre-diabetic.

Periodontal disease severely works against diabetics by increasing their conditions and other health risks if not properly treated. For example, diabetics are more prone to having heart attacks and strokes if they have gum disease, and 80% of diabetics will die from both conditions.

Diabetes has become a serious problem among the western world and can only be cured in its earlier stages by diet and exercise. There are also no drugs available to cure an insulin resistance, however you can get tested for it and redesign your lifestyle accordingly.

While Dr. Matthews is a cosmetic dentist, he is able to call for a glucose tolerance test if he notices any issues with your teeth and gums that are commonly associated with diabetes and can direct you to an appropriate doctor if needed. If you are a diabetic and are suffering from periodontal disease, do not wait to call Dr. Matthews at his Austin dental office to schedule an appointment.


Dan Matthews DDS
Dan Matthews Dan Matthews DDS The Park at Eanes Creek,
4407 Bee Cave Road
Building 2, Suite 221
Austin, Texas, 78746
(512) 452-2273
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