My project objective covers the similarities that gum disease and diabetes have in common. Gum disease and diabetes have been a duo that have had many researchers questioning and developing new information for years.

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  1. Jonas’s STEAM project compares similarities and connections between periodontitis (gum disease) and diabetes mellitus. Diabetes and periodontitis both have inflammatory components and can exacerbate each other. Periodontitis is an oral infection with tissue breakdown of the teeth and gums and local and systemic inflammation. Periodontitis may develop from gingivitis, which is a reversible inflammatory condition affecting the soft tissues of the gum around the teeth in response to dental plaque. Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder diagnosed by hyperglycemia (high blood glucose/sugar). Inflammation related to hyperglycemia may worsen gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth infection. In turn, inflammation from periodontitis may itself worsen hyperglycemia.

    Jonas presented the similarities between periodontitis and diabetes mellitus with two drawings; one showing the internal structures of a kidney and one showing the internal structures of a tooth. Each image is divided into healthy and unhealthy. The image of the kidney is divided into healthy and diabetic tissue. The healthy tissue of the kidney shows smooth vibrant tissue and bright blood vessels, while the diabetic tissue is shriveled with granular appearing tissue and no visible blood vessels. The image of the tooth is divided to indicate periodontitis and healthy tissue. The healthy side shows pink gums and is brightly colored indicating healthy gums, dentin, and nerve tissue. The periodontitis side shows yellow plaque and black tooth decay on the surface of the tooth, decay in the dentin, red inflamed gums, and black dead nerve tissue.

    Abigail Grenier

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