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Diabetes Roundup

June 4, 2010

Good dental hygiene can result in improved blood sugar levels in diabetics.


The diabetes dental hygiene connection. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Keeping your gums healthy with good dental hygiene has always been a good idea, and it may especially important for people with Type 2 diabetes. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have found that when diabetics with gum disease got dental care, their blood sugar dropped to healthier levels. Researchers believe that inflamed gums cause changes in the blood that make it resistant to the effects of insulin, preventing the body from controlling blood sugar.

In other diabetes news, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have found that in mice, intermittent hypoxia, or drops in oxygen, increases insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. People with sleep apnea—which is when you stop breathing periodically overnight— also experience hypoxia. The next step is to see if sleep apnea causes insulin resistance in humans. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.