Diabetes is associated with a higher prevalence of gingivitis

The prevalence of diabetes in the US continues to increase. Today, 34.1 million adults in the US have diabetes—nearly 13% of the US adult population. About 21% of American adults with diabetes are undiagnosed.1

Given the high prevalence of diabetes, it is critical that we revisit our understanding of the relationship between this condition and oral health.

The impact of diabetes on oral health

We know that diabetes is a chronic, inflammation-related metabolic disease characterized by hyperglycemia, which is hypothesized to make people with diabetes more susceptible to infections, particularly of the gums.2,3

It’s no surprise, then, that periodontal disease is the most common dental disease in the diabetic population—

People with inadequate blood glucose control develop gum disease more frequently and more severely than people who have good management of their diabetes.2

  • High blood glucose may negatively impact the inflammatory response to dental plaque2

  • In a study of US adults with type 2 diabetes, participants with poorly controlled diabetes had a greater prevalence of moderate/severe periodontal disease compared with subjects with better-controlled diabetes2

Impaired wound healing2

Hyperglycemia can also cause challenges at the microvascular and macrovascular level and hinder wound healing. In the mouth specifically, tissue repair is a natural process required to address the chronic injury to periodontal soft tissue caused by microbiota in plaque. In people without diabetes, the typical response to plaque accumulation is inflammation of the gingiva; however, in people with diabetes, the inflammatory response is more extreme and accelerated.

Dry mouth2

Diabetes is associated with hyposalivation. As we often see with our patients, this can lead to the development of caries, periodontitis, and candidiasis.

Neuropathy-related complications2

Other oral problems linked to diabetes include burning sensations in the mouth and changes in taste, both possibly due to diabetes-driven neuropathy.

Dental healthcare professionals play an integral role in the health and well-being of people with diabetes2,5

Routine, nonsurgical, periodontal treatment—together with effective home oral hygiene care—decreases the amount of dental plaque and the associated inflammatory response that leads to gingivits.2 In the new study of LISTERINE® Antiseptic use in people with controlled type 1 and type 2 diabetes, 38% of subjects responded that they have never received advice about caring for their teeth or gums in relation to their diabetes.6


In addition to providing individualized brushing and interdental cleaning directions, and scheduling regular return visits for dental care, consider adding LISTERINE® Antiseptic mouth rinse to your patients’ at-home care instructions.

When used twice a day for 30 seconds, LISTERINE® Antiseptic prevents and reduces plaque and gingivitis, and kills 99.9% of the germs that cause plaque, gingivitis and bad breath.*

The new study

conducted among people with controlled type 1 and type 2 diabetes reveals that adding LISTERINE® Antiseptic to a brushing routine:

With proven efficacy and tolerability, you can feel confident recommending LISTERINE® Antiseptic rinses to your patients with diabetes6

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References: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services; 2020. 2. Borgnakke WS, Genco RJ, Eke PI, Taylor GW: Oral health and diabetes. Chapter 31 in Diabetes in America, 3rd ed. Cowie CC, Casagrande SS, Menke A, Cissell MA, Eberhardt MS, Meigs JB, Gregg EW, Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, Becker DJ, Brancati FL, Boyko EJ, Herman WH, Howard BV, Narayan KMV, Rewers M, Fradkin JE, Eds. Bethesda, MD, National Institutes of Health, NIH Pub No. 17-1468, 2018, p.31.1-31.51. 3. Diabetes Mellitus and Infectious Diseases: Controlling Chronic Hyperglycemia. Nov 30, 2012. http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/diabetes-mellitus-and-infectious-diseas.... Accessed August 13, 2020. 4. Mouth Healthy. Diabetes and your smile. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/diabetes. Accessed August 12, 2020. 5. Preshaw PM, Alba AL, Herrera D, et al. Periodontitis and diabetes: a two-way relationship. Diabetologia. 2012;55(1):21-31. 6. Data on file, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 7. American Dental Association. Diabetes: tips for good oral health. J Am Dent Assoc. 2010;141:926.

*Based on testing conducted in healthy patients.
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