Author(s): Yasushi Kodama, Masahiro Matsuura, Tomoya Sano, Yutaka Nakahar, Kiyokazu Ozaki
Many epidemiologic studies have suggested that diabetes may be an important risk factor for periodontal disease. To determine whether diabetes induces or enhances periodontal disease or dental caries, dental tissue from diabetic male and nondiabetic female WBN/KobSlc rats and male and female age-matched nondiabetic F344 rats was analyzed morphologically and morphometrically for these 2 types of lesions. Soft X-ray examination revealed that the incidence and severity of both molar caries and alveolar bone resorption were much higher in male WBN/KobSlc rats with chronic diabetes than in nondiabetic female rats of the same strain. Histopathologic examination showed that dental caries progressed from acute to subacute inflammation due to bacterial infections and necrosis in the pulp when the caries penetrated the dentin. In the most advanced stage of dental caries, inflammatory changes caused root abscess and subsequent apical periodontitis, with the formation of granulation tissue around the dental root. Inflammatory changes resulted in resorption of alveolar bone and correlated well with the severity of molar caries. Our results suggest that diabetic conditions enhance dental caries in WBN/KobSlc rats and that periodontal lesions may result from the apical periodontitis that is secondary to dental caries.