Learning to Treat Gum Disease and Diabetes Simultaneously

It’s not exactly common knowledge that gum disease is closely related to type-2 diabetes, though typically, diabetics are aware of their increased need to maintain their good oral health. Nevertheless, more and more research continues to point to an increasingly significant, and important, link between the two chronic conditions. Experts have long known that inflammation is a contributing factor to both. Now, researchers have revealed an exciting discovery that may lead to an advanced method of treating the inflammatory mechanisms behind both gum disease and diabetes. Hopefully, the discovery can help successfully treat other health complications related to chronic inflammation, as well.

Gum Disease and Diabetes—Linked by Inflammation

If you’ve ever had gum disease, or have been warned of its development, then you might know that gum inflammation is one of the most common symptoms. The swelling is a natural response by your immune system to drive away harmful bacteria before they can infect your tissues. In diabetics, a similar uncontrolled inflammatory response can occur within their bodies due to difficulty controlling insulin and blood sugar levels, which in turn can affect the functions of the immune system.

Causes of Gum Disease and Diabetes Uncovered

When gum disease develops, the germs responsible evade your body’s immune system, and manipulate it so that your body can’t shut off the inflammatory response. In patients who develop gum disease in relation to their diabetes, experts have discovered a type of cell, called B-cells, that promote inflammation and jawbone loss.

Through trials using mice (who have similar oral health mechanisms as humans), researchers discovered that by inhibiting the B-cell population, inflammation and bone degradation were significantly reduced, or eliminated altogether. The scientists believe that the discovery will help develop an innovative pharmacological approach to treating patients with diabetes, gum disease, and similar or related health issues.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.