Eastman Dental Institute


Gum disease and its relationship to diabetes

Professor Francesco D'Aiuto, Dr Marco Orlandi, Dr Jeanie Suvan

 Gum disease is closely linked to diabetes and it is known that it can lead to a higher blood glucose level as well as chronic inflammation around the body, which both could promote the development of kidney and vessel damage if sustained for long periods of time.


This was the first long-term, randomised study to show a substantial benefit of treating gum disease on diabetes control.

Over 250 patients with poorly-controlled diabetes and active periodontitis took part in our trial funded by both Diabetes UK and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre.

After 12 months, those who received more intensive gum therapy had reduced their blood glucose level by on average 0.6 per cent  They also showed reduced chronic inflammation - which could lower their risk of serious diabetes-related complications, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

The findings have already led NHS England to recommend screening diabetic patients for gum disease as standard. Read more 

Professor Francesco D’Aiuto and team also won the 2019 Clinical Research Award from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP).
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Current activities

The researchers continue working with NHS authorities to increase awareness of the link between gum disease and diabetes amongst diabetes professionals, suggesting the inclusion of dental and gum assessments for people with diabetes as standard practice.

The Team has gone on to also link periodontitis to high blood pressure (hypertension). Read more