Gum disease in pregnant women could be a factor in developing gestational diabetes. This what the research team at New York University’s College of Dentistry found. The group of women in the study who did not have periodontal disease were less likely to develop gestational diabetes.
The study took a long year to conduct at New York University. This study was in conjunction with Sri Lanka’s University of Peradeniya’s Faculty of Dental Sciences. The Sri Lankan researchers had the advantage of their subjects who were poor and forbidden to smoke and drink alcohol which are thought to increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
About one-third of the Sri Lankan women said their gums bled. The women who reported the most occurrences of bleeding in the gums had the highest blood glucose levels. The women who were found to develop gestational diabetes had particularly higher levels of inflammation and gum bacteria than the others.
The leader of the research team, Dr. Ananda P. Dasanayake said that the women who are planning to be pregnant would be wise to keep their oral health in good condition. They should ask their dentist to get rid of this condition before getting pregnant. In addition, after becoming pregnant they should also visit the dentist.
While pregnant, the ability to transport glucose to the cells is prevented by gestational diabetes. The end result is that the main source of energy does not reach the cells where it is needed. Mind you, this condition disappears after pregnancy but the increased risk to develop type 2 diabetes is there.
The inflammation that is linked to the gum disease plays a role in the increased risk to develop gestational diabetes. The inflammation gets in the way with the work of insulin and we know that insulin controls the metabolism of the glucose. Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans are the ones most at risk to develop gestational diabetes.
The results of this study confirm what other researches have found. And it is that gum disease and high levels of bacteria in the mouth can help predict who will develop gestational diabetes and even type 2 diabetes. Due to the fact that diabetes is an inflammatory condition, it makes sense that heightened inflammation in the mouth could play a role in developing gestational diabetes. The moral of the story is to get the dentist to help you get rid of the gum disease.