Periodontitis is a gum infection that can result in tooth loss. It has previously been established that there is a connection between being diabetic and having a higher risk of periodontitis. Now, new research from University of Pennsylvania is shedding some light on the reason for this connection.

Researchers used a mouse model to experiment, focusing on the bacteria within the mouth, or the “oral microbiome”. They were able to demonstrate that having Type 2 diabetes definitively changes the microbiome to become more inflammatory, which is a factor that enhances bone loss in periodontitis.

The importance of this study is that diabetics can bring their risk of bone loss by keeping a healthy oral microbiome. Good glycemic control is the key to keeping a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth, and good oral hygiene will bring the risk even further down.

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