Diabetes is a chronic, degenerative disease defined by high blood sugar levels, because the body either cannot produce insulin at all or cannot properly use the insulin that it does produce. High blood sugar levels can lead to many complications including coronary artery disease (heart attacks), cerebral vascular disease (strokes), and peripheral vascular disease ( high blood pressure). Long term complications include small vessel damage that can result in blindness and/or kidney failure, and nerve damage that can result in the loss of limbs.
People with diabetes can also have mouth complications such as dry mouth, delayed wound healing and periodontal disease. There is a strong relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease. People that have diabetes are more likely to develop periodontitis and they are five times more likely to have tooth loss than people who do not have diabetes.
There is good evidence that controlling periodontal infections in people with diabetes improves their glycemic control (blood sugar levels). Therefore, treating periodontal disease to prevent and control periodontal infection should be part of diabetes control.