The relationship between periodontitis and diabetes has been well documented. Periodontitis is characterized by chronic inflammation and an accumulation of bacteria involving the gingiva and alveolar bone. Individuals with periodontitis have a 50% increased risk of developing diabetes. The risk and severity of periodontitis is increased by two- to threefold in people with diabetes.
This bidirectional relationship can be linked to chronic inflammation and altered autoimmune responses. In patients with uncontrolled diabetes, nonsurgical periodontal therapy has been associated with improved hemoglobin A1c. Further studies imply a decrease in diabetes-related health-care costs after periodontal therapy. Therefore, dental and medical professionals have an integral role in supporting disease management by implementing strategies in the clinical setting.
Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:
- Recognize and discuss the bidirectional relationship between periodontitis and diabetes.
- Identify and list blood glucose and A1c goals for patients with diabetes to improve periodontitis.
- Exhibit increased confidence when educating patients with diabetes and periodontitis.
- Implement strategies into daily dental and medical practice to improve clinical outcomes.
About the Authors
Nykkia Sellers, DNP, FNP, BC-ADM, CDCES, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner who practices in adult endocrinology and specializes in diabetes management. Nykkia is the founder and owner of Diabetes Care and Wellness. She earned a master’s degree in nursing from Arkansas State University in 2007. She then obtained a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the University of South Alabama. Nykkia is a certified diabetes care and education specialist and is board certified in advanced diabetes management.
Tameka Schley Lee, MPA, RDH, has more than two decades of service in the dental field. In 2003, she earned a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from Clayton State University, and then went on to obtain a master’s degree in public administration from Grand Canyon University in 2021. With a profound passion for oral health and relentless drive to enhance health outcomes, Tameka has donned multiple hats throughout her career. Her visionary spirit and dedication culminated in the establishment of Empower, RDH, a consulting company tailored to dental hygiene clinicians.
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