Dental Treatment Helps Lower Your Hemoglobin A1c

With Miguel Vinas, PhD, and Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDE

If you’re trying to manage your blood sugar, and you have gum disease, a trip to the dentist appears likely to reduce your risk of diabetes and lower your hemoglobin A1c levels.1 Hemoglobin A1c is a test that reflects a person’s average blood sugar levels over the past three months.

According to a study from Spain,1 a dental treatment known as scaling and root planing lowered blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes who received periodontal care—a more intensive plaque removal—when compared to those who got less intense oral cleaning to treat their gum disease.

Treatment for periodontal disease will improve hemoglobin A1c in people with type 2 diabetes.

Periodontal disease is caused by a build-up of plaque, the sticky bacterial film always forming on the teeth, especially at the gum line. This plaque build-up leads to an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. When not treated, gums may bleed and can begin to pull away from the teeth, eventually causing tooth loss.

A Healthy Mouth Improves Blood Sugar Control

In this six-month study,1 people who underwent the root planing and scaling procedure had lower hemoglobin A1c levels than a process of removing the plaque with ultrasound, says Miguel Vinas, PhD, a study coauthor, and researcher at the University of Barcelona.

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