A new report has revealed that people who are diabetic have a better chance of controlling the condition if they look after their gums.
The study - conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) - found that periodontal health has an important role to play for diabetics and also emphasised the importance of patients having regular gum checks at their dentists.
Several recommendations were also made to dental professionals when it came to treating diabetics, including the need to carry out stringent examinations of their gums to make sure that everything is in order.
AAP president Dr Stuart Froum said: "People living with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease. At the same time, periodontal disease makes it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their symptoms because it can impair the body’s ability to process and/or utilise insulin."
Dr Froum described the relationship as a "catch-22" and said that it was "crucial" that people who have been diagnosed with diabetes ensure that looking after their teeth and gums is a priority.
The report itself has been published in the Journal of Periodontology and details how evidence over the last 20 years has indicated a link between the two conditions, with severe periodontitis affecting blood glucose levels.
On its own, if periodontal disease - or gum disease - is left untreated, it has the potential to damage both the bone and tissue surround the teeth - ultimately leading to tooth loss. The affliction can also lead to rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease.
The AAP has followed up its report by recommending that everyone brushes their teeth at least twice a day and flosses at least once over the same period. Visiting a dental practice to receive a gum check at least once a year has also been suggested.
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