Objective: The aim of this interventional animal study was to assess histologically the effect of experimental diabetes in rats with experimental periodontitis in terms of alveolar bone loss and the effect of experimental periodontitis on glucose levels in diabetes. Materials and Methods: Forty-seven Wistar rats were studied: 12 healthy controls (C), 10 with experimental diabetes (D), 12 with experimental diabetes and experimental periodontitis (DP) and 13 with experimental periodontitis (P). Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin injection and periodontitis was induced at the right second maxillary molar by ligation. Serum glucose levels were measured at specific time points. Sixty-one days after ligation, the rats were sacrificed. Histometric analysis assessed alveolar crest level. For ligated groups, alveolar bone loss was expressed as the difference in alveolar crest level between right and left maxillary molars. Results: Diabetes alone did not statistically significantly affect alveolar crest level. The combination of diabetes and periodontitis caused greater alveolar bone loss (946.1 ± 719.9 μm) than periodontitis alone (639.7 ± 294.2 μm); however, the difference did not reach statistical significance. Periodontitis did not significantly increase glucose levels in diabetic rats. The average glucose levels were 545.4 (499 - 563) and 504.5 (445 - 560) mg/dL for diabetic and diabetic ligated rats, respectively. Conclusion: Within its limits, this study demonstrated that the severity of alveolar bone loss in periodontitis was not significantly aggravated by diabetes and the serum glucose levels in diabetes were not affected by periodontitis.
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