This Silent Killer is called “systemic inflammation”. This happens when dangerous inflammatory proteins such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and other “cytokines” are created by chronic low grade infections like gum disease and which damage blood vessels, tissues and organs throughout the body.
Gum disease contributes to these health problems because of the “spillover” of oral bacteria and inflammatory proteins from unresolved gum infections entering the bloodstream through infected gums (e.g. gingivitis) and carried to the rest of the body.
The “Oral Systemic Connection” is the term now used to describe this link between mouth health and general health.
Diabetics already know about the threat to their health from diabetes. These are called “diabetic complications” and include blindness, foot amputations, kidney failure, heart disease, neuropathies, impaired wound healing, and now – periodontal disease. Fortunately, diabetic “oral complications” are beginning to be addressed by more physicians, dentists and their patients.
For diabetics, this information is especially important because diabetes slows down the healing process. Consequently, diabetics are more prone to chronic low-grade infections like periodontal disease and if they have gum disease it tends to be more severe! Diabetics with gum disease can also have a more difficult time managing their blood sugar levels. This quickly becomes a viscous cycle with diabetes causing more gum disease problems, and gum disease problems creating blood sugar control issues.
Because new emerging research is showing such a strong relationship between diabetes and oral health controlling gum disease is gaining new urgency.
Fortunately more people are learning about these problems thanks to news reports in the media, advertising by companies selling oral health products, health insurance companies educating their customers, and through the efforts of many dentists and doctors.
Some medical insurance companies are already providing coverage for periodontal treatment for diabetic and heart patients because they see that improved gum health lowers overall costs for other medical care. Also, many informed medical doctors are beginning to insist that their diabetic and heart patients see qualified dentists who can diagnose and treat chronic low-grade infections in the mouth.
http://www.OralHealthforDiabetics.com is a site with great information if you are interested in reading and learning more.