Is there a link between periodontitis and metabolic syndrome?

2016 08 22 14 15 49 958 Danenberg Alvin 400

Periodontitis and metabolic syndrome are manifestations of chronic inflammation. Could there be a causal relationship between the chronic inflammation of gum disease and the chronic inflammation of metabolic syndrome?

Alvin Danenberg, DDS.Alvin Danenberg, DDS.

The answer lies in the fact that practically all chronic diseases start with inflammation on the cellular level. If chronic inflammation could be brought under control, cells might have the potential to heal.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disorders that includes high blood pressure, increased belly fat, high blood triglyceride, low blood high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and increased blood sugar. These disorders lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A 2014 study in the Archives of Oral Biology (August 2014, Vol. 59:8, pp. 855-870) found a definite association between metabolic syndrome and periodontitis.

Possibly reducing the markers for metabolic syndrome will also reduce the prevalence of periodontitis.

“Heal one cell at a time, and your body will thank you.”

Skeptics, and those who strictly adhere to the proof of randomized clinical trials, will argue that currently there is not sufficient long-term evidence to unequivocally verify a causal relationship between a Paleo-type diet and health. There is much research to be done and published in peer-reviewed journals before defined causation could be proved.

I don't know how many years it will take for the scientific community to pronounce, "Now it is proven!" Personally, the current published research is enough to convince me.

"Heal one cell at a time, and your body will thank you," I tell my patients. The backdrop for my conviction is the 2.5 million years of our species' evolution.

Alvin Danenberg, DDS, practices at the Bluffton Center for Dentistry in Bluffton, SC. He is also on the faculty of the College of Integrative Medicine and created its integrative periodontal teaching module. He also spent two years as chief of periodontics at Charleston Air Force Base earlier in his career. His website is

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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