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    Research Explains Why Diabetes Patients Are Vulnerable to Gum Disease

    shutterstock_631495091Dentists, doctors and medical researchers have known for years that a link exists between diabetes and periodontitis, or gum disease, but they’ve struggled with pinpointing the exact origin of the connection. New research indicates that the connection has to do with changes in the oral microbiome (the collection of bacteria and other microbes that live in our mouths) of diabetes patients once blood sugar rises and hyperglycemia develops.   How Does Gum Disease Develop? Diabetes weakens the body’s immune system, so patients are already more susceptible to infection, said Dr. John Pappas, DDS, of Arcadia Dental Arts in Phoenix, Arizona. "Poor oral hygiene can lead to a buildup of bacteria and plaque on and around teeth," he said. "The first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, becomes evident with bleeding, swollen and red gums in many cases." According to Pappas, this first stage of gum disease is reversible with proper care....
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