Public Release: 

Periodontal diseases may aggravate pre-diabetic characteristics

54 million Americans have pre-diabetes

American Academy of Periodontology

CHICAGO- Periodontal diseases may contribute to the progression to pre-diabetes, according to a new study that appears in the March issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates 54 million people in the United States have pre-diabetes, and a significant portion of those people will develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years.

Researchers from Denmark investigated if having periodontal diseases can influence pre-diabetes and contribute to the progression of diabetes. They found that having periodontal disease can cause someone to develop pre-diabetic characteristics, and probably disturb the glucose regulation of a non-diabetic who has pre-diabetic characteristics, contributing to the progression of Type 2 diabetes. The study, conducted with rat models known to exhibit pre-diabetes characteristics, is believed to be the first to evaluate the relationship between periodontitis and pre-diabetes.

"This study found that having periodontal diseases can alter the metabolic conditions which would probably lead to the progression to pre-diabetic characteristics and Type 2 diabetes," said Dr. Carla Pontes Andersen, Department of Periodontology at the University of Copenhagen.

"We have known that people with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal diseases and have more severe disease," said Dr. Preston D. Miller, Jr., President of the American Academy of Periodontology. "This breakthrough research shows having periodontal disease may aggravate pre-diabetes which is a precursor for diabetes. These findings underscore the importance of taking good care of your teeth and gums: it may be a simple way to prevent diabetes, or to prevent the progression of diabetes."


To asses your periodontal health visit and click on "Assess your gum disease risk". To check if you may be at risk of developing diabetes, visit

Visit the AAP website, for a referral to a periodontist and free brochure titled Diabetes & Periodontal Diseases. Or call 800/FLOSS-EM (800.356-7736) toll-free.

The American Academy of Periodontology is an 8,000-member association of dental professionals specializing in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth and in the placement and maintenance of dental implants. Periodontics is one of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A copy of the JOP article titled "Periodontitis is associated with aggravation of pre-diabetes in Zucker Fatty Rats" is available to the media by contacting the AAP Public Affairs Department at 312/573-3243. The public and/or non-AAP members can view a study abstract online, and the full-text of the study may be accessed online for $20.00 at

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