ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Varicose, Spider Veins May Be Inevitable for Some
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
CANCER
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
Scams and Shams That Prey on Cancer Patients
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Proven Strategies for Avoiding Colds and the Flu
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish
EYE CARE, VISION
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
FITNESS
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Higher Fitness Levels Tied to Lower Heart, Death Risks
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
Vitamin D and Bone Health: Are You Getting Enough of This Important Vitamin?
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
MEN'S HEALTH
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
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Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications

SATURDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- People with type 2 diabetes can help control the disease by taking better care of their teeth and gums.

That's the case dentists were expected to make at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting in San Francisco this weekend.

"Several recent studies have shown that having periodontal disease makes those with type 2 diabetes more likely to develop worsened glycemic control, and puts them at much greater risk of end-stage kidney disease and death," George W. Taylor, an associate professor of dentistry at the University of Michigan schools of Dentistry and Public Health, said in a prepared statement. "Given the numerous medical studies showing that good glycemic control results in reduced development and progression of diabetes complications, we believe there is the potential that periodontal treatment can provide an increment in diabetes control and subsequently a reduction in the risk for diabetes complications," he said.

Intensive periodontitis intervention, for example, can significantly lower one's levels of A1C, a measure of long-term glucose control.

"We have found evidence that the severity of periodontal disease is associated with higher levels of insulin resistance, often a precursor of type 2 diabetes, as well as with higher levels of A1C," dentist Maria E. Ryan, director of clinical research at the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine in New York, said in a prepared statement.

Periodontal, or gum, disease is an infection and chronic inflammatory disease of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. As it is painless, most people don't know they have it, yet it is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

Among the studies to be discussed linking gum disease and diabetes are:

* A 1988-1994 U.S. population data study that found having periodontal disease put a person at twice the risk of having insulin resistance as those without such disease.
* An unpublished Stony Brook University study of people displaying pre-diabetic insulin resistance that links the severity of a periodontal disease with their degree of insulin resistance. "We think periodontitis may adversely affect glycemic control, because the pro-inflammatory chemicals produced by the infection -- such as IL-1 beta, IL-6 and TNF-alpha -- could transfer from the gum tissue into the bloodstream and stimulate cells to become resistant to insulin," Taylor said. "Then insulin resistance prevents cells in the body from removing glucose from the bloodstream for energy production."
* A set of studies of the Pima Indians in the Southwest, a population with a very high rate of type 2 diabetes. One found those with periodontitis were more than four times as likely to develop worsened glycemic control; another showed that those with severe gum disease had more than triple the risk of dying from diabetic nephropathy or ischemic heart disease than those with less severe periodontal disease.
* A study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that found a "statistically significant reduction" in A1C levels in people with type 2 diabetes after 15 months after routine periodontal treatment, Taylor said.

"When glycemia has been difficult to control, the physician might consider asking patients when they last saw their dentist, whether periodontitis has been diagnosed and, if so, whether treatment has been completed," Ryan said. "A consultation with the dentist may be appropriate, to discuss whether periodontal treatment has been successful or whether a more intensive approach with oral or sub-antimicrobial antibiotics is in order because, just as it is difficult to control diabetes while the patient has an infected leg ulcer, the same applies when there's infection and inflammation of the gums."

More information

The American Academy of Periodontology has more about gum disease.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: American Diabetes Association, news release, June 6, 2008

Last Updated: June 07, 2008

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