Remember Links to Periodontitis on World Diabetes Day

Dentistry Today


The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) marks World Diabetes Day on November 14 by reminding clinicians and patients alike about the links between periodontitis and diabetes and by emphasizing the need for dentists and doctors to work together to combat both diseases.

“The link between periodontitis and diabetes is bidirectional and well established,” said EFP president Filippo Graziani. “Our joint guidelines with the International Diabetes Federation indicate clearly that it is now time for doctors and dentists to work together for the good of the patients.” 

Periodontal diseases and diabetes are chronic diseases that become more common as people get older. There is a two-way relationship between them, the EFP says, which means that people with periodontitis have a higher risk of diabetes, while patients with diabetes are three times more likely to develop periodontal disease.  

Controlling diabetes also is more complicated when a patient has periodontitis as well, the EFP says, and people with both diseases are at greater risk of suffering some severe medical complications including cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and retinopathy than people who have diabetes alone.

But the EFP does not that periodontal treatment in people with diabetes can lead to a significant reduction in their glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels.

On November 14 last year, the EFP launched its Perio & Diabetes outreach project, which includes a package of written and graphic materials aimed at different audiences. It features six recommendation guidelines produced for different dental professionals, other medical professionals, researchers, policymakers, patients, the public, and the media.

Materials include brochures, infographics, and an animated video explaining the links between periodontitis and diabetes. The video is available in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish, with a version in Georgian to be added soon.

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