Current Oral Health Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 270–281 | Cite as

“Non-modifiable” Risk Factors for Periodontitis and Diabetes

  • Wenche S. BorgnakkeEmail author
Systemic Diseases (M Bartold, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Systemic Diseases


This review describes the current evidence published from January 2013 through March 2016 for “non-modifiable” risk factors for periodontitis and diabetes mellitus. Risk factors for a disease are factors that increase the chance of developing the disease, that is, new onset or incidence. Periodontitis and diabetes are both chronic, inflammation-related diseases and often occur in the same individuals, which agrees with the two diseases having largely the same risk factors and also mutually and adversely affecting each other. “Non-modifiable” risk factors for both diseases include higher age, male sex, minority race or ethnicity, low socioeconomic status, genetic predisposition (mostly for impaired immune/inflammatory responses), a history of radiation therapy, pancreatic diseases, polycystic ovary syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, and a history of cigarette smoking. Additionally, a history of poorly controlled diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as possibly osteoporosis, increases the risk for periodontitis, whereas a personal history of antibiotics use and a family history of diabetes additionally increase the risk for diabetes. Given the similarities between the risk factors, the prevention, management, and treatment aimed to ameliorate the strength of the effects of these risk factors, the risks for both periodontitis and diabetes should be attenuated simultaneously. Interventions would probably be facilitated by being conducted in a patient-centered professional collaboration among dental and medical healthcare providers caring for their mutual patient and addressing risk factors for both periodontitis and diabetes for the best possible quality of life of their mutual patient.


Genes History of disease Inflammatory diseases Oral-systemic health Smoking history Social determinants of health 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Wenche Borgnakke declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the authors


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Periodontics and Oral MedicineUniversity of Michigan School of DentistryAnn ArborUSA

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