US Pharm. 2008;33(8):80.

A team of dental researchers at New York University have uncovered evidence that pregnant women who suffer from periodontal disease are more likely than those with healthy gums to develop gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

The study, which was published in the Journal of Dental Research, showed that the inflammation associated with periodontal disease is connected in some way to the onset of GDM, a condition found in pregnant women who are unable to transport glucose to the cells. While the condition usually disappears once the pregnancy has ended, these women are at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. While the positive relationship between periodontal disease and GDM is not well understood, investigators believe that periodontal disease somehow interferes with the normal functioning of insulin, the hormone that regulates glucose metabolism.

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