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Ann Periodontol. 2001 Dec;6(1):138-45.

Treatment of periodontal disease and control of diabetes: an assessment of the evidence and need for future research.

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Periodontal Disease Research Center, Department of Oral Biology, School of Dental Medicine, The University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA.


Evidence points to an increased cytokine response in type 2 diabetes, especially the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1 beta, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. Genetics, age, and, nutrition are important signals for this increased response and as reported more recently, infections and inflammation. Persistent elevation of IL-1 beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha in the diabetic state have an effect on the liver, stimulate the release of acute-phase proteins, produce the characteristic dysregulation of lipid metabolism associated with type 2 diabetes, and have effects on pancreatic beta cells as well. In addition, TNF-alpha, a potent inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase activity of the insulin receptor, has been implicated as an etiologic factor for insulin resistance. Collectively, the evidence supports a role for cytokine elevation in the pathophysiology and metabolic abnormalities associated with diabetes. Periodontitis is an infection that is twice as prevalent in diabetic individuals compared to non-diabetics. Porphyromonas gingivalis, one of the microorganisms responsible for this infection, is able to invade endothelial cells and is a potent signal for monocyte and macrophage activation. Thus, once established in the diabetic host, this chronic infection complicates diabetes control and increases the occurrence and severity of microvascular and macrovascular complications. Unlike treatment of acute infections, modalities of treatment for chronic infections are a matter of debate. Evidence indicates that mechanical removal of subgingival infection does not result in complete elimination of periodontal infection and consequently there is no effect on diabetes control measured as reduction in glycated hemoglobin. On the other hand, studies incorporating systemic antibiotics as adjuncts to mechanical debridement result in a reduction of P. gingivalis to nondetectable levels and a concomitant reduction in glycated hemoglobin, independent of the hypoglycemic effects of diabetes drugs or insulin. The evidence supports the notion that treatment of chronic periodontal infection is essential in the diabetic patient. Assessment of infection status in diabetic patients is fundamental for appropriate treatment decisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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