November 2006 - Patients with Type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease who receive periodontal therapy see levels of oxidative stress, a condition in which antioxidant levels are lower than normal, reduced to the same levels as nondiabetic patients, according to a new study that appeared in the November issue of the Journal of Periodontology (JOP).
Researchers from Kyushu Dental College in Kitakyushu, Japan investigated the impact of periodontal therapy on patients with Type 2 diabetes, as compared to nondiabetic patients. They found that periodontal therapy decreased lipid peroxide (LPO), an oxidative stress index, in diabetic patients.
"Our research emphasized one of the benefits of having periodontal therapy for patients with diabetes," said Dr. Kazuo Sonoki, M.D. PhD at Kyushu Dental College, one of the study authors. "However, this was just a preliminary study and more research should be conducted to evaluate how periodontal disease affects both people with and without diabetes."
It has been found that diabetes and periodontal disease can lead to atherosclerosis, which occurs when deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the inner lining of an artery. This buildup is called plaque. It has been thought that oxidative stress is linked to heart disease because oxidation of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) in the endothelium is a precursor to plaque formation. Recently, oxidative stress has emerged as an important factor for atherosclerosis in patients with diabetes.
"We hear every day about how more and more people are being diagnosed with diabetes," said Preston D. Miller, DDS and AAP President. "This research confirms that patients with diabetes should be especially conscious of their periodontal health. While more research needs to be done to evaluate the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes, we do know that treating periodontal diseases can save teeth, and can promote overall health."
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For more information including referral to a periodontist or a free brochure entitled Diabetes & Periodontal Diseases, visit the AAP Web site at www.perio.org or call toll-free at 800/FLOSS-EM (800.356.7736).
Source: American Academy of Periodontology