The hidden message of gum disease. If your dentist says you have periodontal disease, you may have an even more serious problem: diabetes. In a recent study of 2,923 adults from NYU College of Dentistry and Nursing, 93% of those who had periodontitis were at high risk for diabetes, compared with just 63% of those without it. The culprit may be inflammation, says lead researcher Shiela M. Stauss PhD. If you’re diagnosed with gum disease, get a blood sugar test. Diabetes is often symtomless, but the earlier it’s discovered, the easier it is to prevent long term complications.