Diabetes is caused by excessive glucose in the blood. It is well known that the disease can cause damage to parts of the body such as the heart, kidneys and blood vessels. But diabetes can also cause complications with your oral health.
The Link Between Gum Disease and Diabetes
Research has shown that that those with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. The reason is that high blood sugar can decrease the amount of saliva in the mouth. Since saliva helps to combat the buildup of tooth-decaying bacteria, less saliva means a greater chance of gum disease. People with diabetes also face an increased risk of bacterial infection in general, adding to their susceptibility to gum disease.
Gum disease is caused by plaque and bacteria that buildup on the teeth and form pockets in the gums. Mild gum disease can then develop into periodontitis, which is the advanced form of the disease. At this stage, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth. If left alone for too long, the disease can destroy the bone around the teeth, causing tooth-loss.
Diabetes and gum disease also contribute to one another. People with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum disease, and gum disease can potentially affect blood glucose control, contributing to the progression of diabetes.
How-To Prevent Dental Problems Associated With Diabetes
The most effective way to prevent diabetes-related health problems is to control the blood glucose level. Here are a few tips to help you manage your glucose levels:
- Consult with your doctor or dietician to develop a healthy eating plan
- Check your glucose levels every day and write the number down. Call your doctor if notice your levels are too high or low 2-3 consecutive days.
- Try to exercise at least 30 minutes every day. Check with your doctor about which exercises are best for you.
You can also help prevent diabetes-related dental problems by following oral care best practices. Make sure that you:
- Brush at least twice daily and ensure you are using proper technique.
- Get a dental cleaning at least twice a year.
- Limit sugary foods and acid drinks.
- Let your dentist know that you have diabetes.
Watch Out for These Symptoms
Anyone can be susceptible to gum disease if they do not take care of their oral health. Those with diabetes must take extra precaution to ensure that they do not develop advanced gum disease. Keeping a close watch on your oral health, and working with your dentist can help you prevent serious issues like advanced gum disease and tooth loss. If you have diabetes, watch out for the below symptoms of gum disease.
- Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
- Gums that appear to have pulled away from the teeth
- Swollen, red or tender gums
- Pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Those who have suffered from advanced gum disease may face serious functional and cosmetic dental problems. The oral health practitioners at Uptown Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry specialize in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. You can have beautiful and functional teeth even after suffering from diabetes-related dental problems. Contact us for more information!