Multiple studies have shown a direct correlation between gum disease and diabetes. There is too much evidence to be ignored. But the question is why? Why are diabetes and gum disease related? And which disease is the cause and which is the effect? Here you’ll learn the answers to these questions and more.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is a bacterial infection of the gums. When the population of bacteria in the mouth gets too high, the gum tissue can become infected and inflamed. Symptoms include bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, swollen gums, and bright red gum tissue. Advanced gum disease can result in receding gums and loose teeth. Poor oral hygiene is usually the cause, but other factors play a part as well.
What’s the connection between diabetes and gum disease?
One factor that increases a person’s chances of developing gum disease is having diabetes. High blood sugar that results from diabetes can lower your body’s resistance to bacterial infection. Diabetes can also cause dry mouth, which allows the bacteria in the mouth to overpopulate, increasing the risk of gum infection.
Does gum disease cause diabetes?
No, gum disease cannot cause a person to develop diabetes. However, experiencing chronic gum disease can be an indicator that diabetes is a potential concern. Nearly 22% of diabetes patients develop gum disease. If you suffer from gum issues on a regular basis, you should mention it to your primary care doctor in case there are other medical factors at play.
How can I keep my diabetes from leading to gum disease?
The best way to avoid gum disease if you have diabetes is to do your best to control your blood sugar levels. Follow your doctor’s instructions, take your medications, check your blood sugar often, eat a healthy diet, and stay active.
How can my dentist help treat and prevent gum disease?
It is recommended that you visit the dentist every 3- 6 months for teeth cleanings. During a routine dental hygiene appointment, your teeth will be cleaned, professionally flossed, and polished. If there are any issues with gum disease your dentist can treat it and make recommendations to help prevent it.
Take good care of your teeth by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Removing tartar and plaque from your teeth along the gum line can help to prevent gum disease, as it eliminates what the bacteria feed on. Keeping your teeth clean is the best defense. In severe cases, scaling and root planing may need to be done to prevent gum disease from developing below the gum line.
Golia Dental Can Treat and Prevent Gum Disease for Patients with Diabetes
Golia Dental understands the increased risk of gum disease for patients with diabetes. Be sure to let us know if you have diabetes so that we can take extra care to watch for the signs and symptoms of gum disease and take the proper precautions to help prevent it. Working together with your doctor and your dentist, you can decrease your chances of developing gum disease and prevent the negative effect it can have on your oral health.
Call (203) 248-7400 today or contact us to schedule an appointment. Don’t let diabetes and gum disease be a problem for you. We look forward to helping you overcome the risks.