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“Your mom was right,” says Maria Geisinger, our mouths really can be bacteria factories. This podcast provides listeners with a comprehensive discussion about how periodontitis progresses and why there’s a feedback loop between diabetes and dental health. Listeners will learn

  • What periodontal disease causes and symptoms are common,
  • How the inflammatory burden from suboptimal blood sugar control contributes to the disease, and
  • What prevention measures and periodontitis treatments are available along with timelines. 

Maria Geisinger is a professor and director of the Advanced Education Program in Periodontology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She helps listeners understand how periodontal disease relates to overall wellness as well as why regular dental management of a diabetic patient is important. As with numerous other health concerns, inflammation is a central factor.

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Professor Geisinger explains that not only does an inflammatory burden result from the effect of diabetes on periodontium, the resulting inflammation can in turn affect glycemic control.

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It’s pretty simple to identify basic periodontitis symptoms, she adds. The number one indicator is gum bleeding with brushing or flossing. Determining the depth of disease progression takes a visit to the periodontist, who will determine if there’s accompanying bone loss and other issues. How does the disease initiate? When bacteria are allowed to accumulate along the gum line, your body senses these toxins and responds by retreating: gum tissue starts to “unzip” from the tooth root.

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Preventions include regular dental cleaning in addition to brushing and flossing teeth. She makes a helpful analogy between flossing teeth benefits and gym visits and provides other incentives for effective dental care, especially for diabetic patients. 

To learn more about her work, she suggests finding her on ResearchGate.

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