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Hugh Devlin

and Rebecca Craven

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date: 22 October 2021

Diabetes in relation to dentistry is the topic of this chapter. The incidence of diabetes is increasingly rapidly, hand-in-hand with the increase in obesity. Obesity predisposes patients to an increased insulin resistance, i.e. reduces their ability to increase the glucose transport into adipocytes, muscle, and liver cells. The pancreas responds by producing more insulin but when it can no longer produce enough to overcome the insulin resistance, the blood glucose rises. Diabetes is characterized by raised blood glucose. We describe the devastating long-term effects of diabetes, in particular the microvascular and macrovascular medical complications. The dental complications include an increased severity of periodontal disease, oral candidiasis, and dry mouth but in those who are poorly controlled the impaired defence mechanisms can lead to severe head and neck infections and osteomyelitis. A final summary lists the important clinical recommendations for treatment of diabetic patients.

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