Study Shows Link Between Gum Disease and Gestational Diabetes

In the study at Bellevue Hospital Center, the 22 women who developed gestational diabetes had notably higher levels of gum bacteria and inflammation than the others.

Apr 16, 2009

Pregnant women who have gum disease run a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes than pregnant women who have healthy gums, says a study from the New York University College of Dentistry.

In gestational diabetes, pregnant women lose the ability to transport glucose. Although the condition usually goes away once the pregnancy ends, women who have suffered from gestational diabetes run an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

Ethnic groups most at risk for gestational diabetes are Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans. 

The year-long study, which NYU conducted in conjunction with the Faculty of Dental Sciences at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, followed on the heels of a 2008 study that concluded that pregnant women with periodontal (gum) disease were more likely to develop gestational diabetes than pregnant women with healthy gums. 

In that study of 256 women at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York, the 22 women who developed gestational diabetes had notably higher levels of gum bacteria and inflammation than the others.

Affiliating the study with Sri Lankan scientists had the built-in advantage of tracking 190 pregnant women whose poverty and cultural taboos forbade smoking and alcohol consumption, two factors commonly thought to increase the chance of developing gestational diabetes.

One-third of the Sri Lankan women in the study said that their gums bled when they brushed their teeth, a telltale sign of gum disease. Dr. Ananda P. Dasanayake, Professor of Epidemiology and Health Promotion at NYU, reported that women with the highest incidences of gum bleeding also had the highest blood glucose levels. 

Dr. Dasanayake, who published the study's findings in the April 2008 issue of Journal of Dental Research, said he expected the final data to show that the 20 to 30 Sri Lankan women who reported the heaviest gum bleeding went on to develop gestational diabetes.

The findings confirm what other research has shown: namely, that gum disease and heightened levels of bacteria in the mouth are strong predictors of the development of diabetes-gestational in some cases and type 2 in many others. The thinking is that because diabetes is an inflammatory condition, inflammation in the mouth could be a predictor of or contributory factor to its eventual onset.

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Childbirth, Diabetes, Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes, Health Research, Oral Health, Pregnancy, Type 1 Issues, Type 2 Issues

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Posted by Melitta on 23 April 2009

Women with gestastional diabetes are not just at risk for Type 2 diabetes, but are also at risk for Type 1 diabetes. Up to 10% of all Caucasian women with the diagnosis of GDM go on to develop Type 1 autoimmune diabetes, according to recent studies. Diabetes Health purports to be at the forefront of busting myths about diabetes, so Diabetes Health should be medically accurate and state that women who acquire gestational diabetes are at increased risk for Type 1 diabetes.

Posted by Anonymous on 25 April 2009

According to the CDC, about 1 in 12, or approximately 8% of the population of the United States has diabetes. Just about every person knows somebody with the disease, as 1 in 3 families are affected by diabetes. Of the nearly 24 million people with diabetes disease, about 6.2 million people remain undiagnosed primarily due to ineffective or lack of screening. 62 million people are pre-diabetic and many of them do not know it. Many will become diabetic without early identification and life style changes now. Type 2 diabetes accounts for about 93% of all diabetes and which used to be seen only in adults. Within the past decade, more and more cases are being diagnosed in children. The reason is clear – lack of exercise and excessive caloric consumption leads to obesity, which is a precursor for pre-diabetes.
The Diabetes Risk Assessment (DRA) Kit, through Healthy Heart Dentistry® (seen at combines a rapid blood glucose test to determine fasting blood sugar levels with a confirmatory, laboratory analyzed hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test to check for long term glucose control. This DRA Test Kit, currently the only FDA-Approved test on the market that combines the testing of both glucose and HbA1c scores in a single drop of blood, and the only risk assessment to identify pre-diabetes, provides all the materials needed to collect and test the blood sample. The test can be taken in the comfort of the patients’ home at a fraction of the cost of a hospital or blood lab. A professional laboratory report of the results and diabetes risk is sent to the patient.
Through a Healthy Heart Dentistry initiative in July of 2008, children were given the Diabetes Risk Assessment test in 6 busy retail outlets as part of their back-to-school physical exams. The results over a 30 day period showed that 27% of the children had pre-diabetes and 2 children had undiagnosed diabetes.
In many cases, bleeding gums is the very first sign of diabetes. Talk to your dentist today about getting a thorough periodontal health exam, and ask your dentist if he/she has joined in the Healthy Heart Dentistry mission to reverse this diabetes epidemic in our program called Dentistry Against Diabetes™.

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